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THE YOUTH OF METHODISM. 



THE 



YOUTH OF METHODISM: 



inties^ mh l^xos^ids. 



BY THE 

EEV. THORNLET SMITH, 

AUTHO& OF "THE HISTORY Or JOSEPH," ETC., ETC. 



LONDON : 
ALEXANDER HEYLIN, 28, PATERNOSTER-ROW. 

SOLD ALSO BY JOHN MASON, 66, PATERNOSTER-ROW. 
1859. 



/^/. ^. ^-^ 



U ATM AH BROTHERS, 

PRIHTERS, 

13, OOUOR -SQUARE, FLEET-STREET, LONDOK. 




PREFACE. 



Methodism possesses in its schools and congrega- 
tions large numbers of children and young people, 
many of whom are the descendants of its earliest 
disciples, and all of whom are objects of great 
interest and solicitude. For them, in particular, 
this volume is designed; and it addresses them 
on their privileges, responsibilities, duties, and 
prospects, and seeks to impress upon their minds 
truths and principles of practical utility. In no 
sectarian spirit, however, has-, it been conceived; 
for whilst the author admires and loves the com- 
munity with which he is associated, he sees much 
to admire and love in some other communities 
also. But he believes it to be the duty of Chris- 
tian ministers and of Christian Churches, to 
take special care of their own youth; and he is 
anxious that those of his denomination should 
be kept within its fold, and trained in it for 
heaven and for God. 



VI PREFACE. 

Many of the topics here dwelt upon he had 
often pondered, when an esteemed friend, greatly 
interested in the rising generation, suggested the 
tide of the work, and urged him to commence it. 
The result of his efforts is now before the reader ; 
and he commends these pages to the parents, 
teachers, and friends of Wesleyan youth, with 
the hope that they will deem them worthy of 
their attention, and of the attention of the yoimg 
committed to their care. They have not been 
written without much anxiety, thought, and 
prayer ; but if they should meet with acceptance, 
and be rendered, by the Divine blessing, useful 
to any, the author will have all the reward he 



CONTENTS. 



PART THE FIRST. 

THE PRIVILEGES OF THE YOUTH OF ^METHODISM. 

Page 
Section I. — The Privileges of Home .... 3 
Section n.— The Privileges of School . . . .15 
Section III. — The Privileges of the Sanctuary . . 26 

PART THE SECOND. 

THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE YOUTH OF METHODISM. 

Section I. — ^Responsibility — What is it ? . . .41 
Section II.— ^Responsibility — its measure and extent . 54 
Section III. — Responsibilities — How to meet them . 63 

PART THE THIRD. 

THE DUTIES OF THE YOUTH OF METHODISM. 

Section I. — Personal Religion . . . . ^ . 77 

Section II.— Church Fellowship 91 

Section III. — The formation of Character . . . 105 



Vlll CONTENTS. 

PART THE FOURTH. 

THE PROSPECTS OF THE YOUTH OF METHODISM. 

Page 
Seotiok I. — ^Prospeots in relation to Society at large . 127 

Seotiov n.— Fro«peot8 in relation to the Churoh of 

Ghriflt 142 

Sbctiov m.— Profpeots in relation to a Fntnre State . 163 



€^ :^nirikgii b! tin *gntttli nf Bittern 



" OTTB BEUaiOVS PStYILXaXS IBI iTOT TO BE THOFGHT 
OF TBIFLINO IMFOBTANCE BECAUSE THEY DO KOT FBODUCE 
THEIB PULL E7PE0T. THEY CAITSOT BE A SUBSTITUTE FOB 
PEB80KAL HOLIKESS $ THEY OAKlfOT EXCUSE TICE ; BUT 
l£Air*S DfGBATITUBE DOES NOT CANCEL HIS OBUOATIONS ; 
KOB DOES THE ABUSE OF PBITILEOES DEBTBOY THEIB 

YALUE." — Eev, £. Watson. 



SECTIOU I, 

THE PRIVILEGES OF HOME. 

** Sweet is the smile of home, the mutual look, 
Where hearts are of each other sure ; 
Sweet all the joys that crowd the household nook, 
The haunt of all affections pure."— Kbbls. 

There are few words more pleasant to the ear of man 
than the monosyllable, ?iome. Who does not love the 
place so called, and who has not said, when distant from 
it, even among scenes the most lovely that nature can 
present, or in palaces the most gorgeous that art can 
rear, " there is no place in the world like home ? " The 
poor man loves his home, though it is but a cottage in 
the wilderness, as much as the nobleman loves his who 
dwells in the stately hall ; and scarcely would the poor 
man make an exchange with the nobleman, for to him 
the stately hall would not seem like home, and would, 
therefore, possess but few attractions, notwithstanding all 
its splendours. 

But are all homes, then, alike ? Is home, home every- 
where, the wide world round ? God's providence, doubt- 
less, intended it so to be; but, alas, there are whole 
nations who know little of its comforts, and there are 
families, not a few, even in our own happy land, who 
taste its sweets but seldom, if at all. What does the 
squalid Bushman, or the wandering Arab, or the effemi- 
B 2 



4 THE PBIVILEGE8 OF HOME. 

nate Hindoo, know of the happiness of home ; or what 
do those English families know of its happiness, who are 
addicted to intemperance and Tice, and among whom is 
heard the din of strife, or the loud clamour of angry and 
malicious words? You may go to many a spot called 
home, perhaps, in the very street in which you live, and 
find it most unhomely, — a spot which you would he 
willing to exchange for a prison, if there you could 
have quietness and rest. How sad that there should he 
such homes in a land where social life might he sanctified 
hy religion, and where the contrasts which present 
themselves are so remarkahle ! When shall every Eng- 
lish home be happy, and every English family a family 
of peace and love ? 

Nothing can make home happy hut religion. If reli- 
gion takes up her abode in a family, their home, whether 
it is a palace or a cottage, a mansion or an attic, becomes 
a little heaven on earth, where human hearts are knit 
together by the sweetest bonds, and where every re- 
lationship is sanctified by the smile of Him who " loved 
Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus." 

Now many of the young to whom these pages are 
addressed possess homes of this kind. Their parents 
are persons who fear and love God, and who, like the 
patriarch Abraham, endeavour to "command their 
children and their households after them,** that they 
may " keep the way of the Lord ; " or they are like the 
mother of John Wesley, of whom it is said that she 
took great pains to instruct her children from their 
earliest years, and that on account of John's provi- 
dential escape from fire, when the parsonage house 
was burnt, she felt that she was under a special 
obligation " to be more particularly careful of the 
soul of a child whom God had sa mercifully provided 



BEING TAUGHT TO PRAT. 5 

for." Hence their habitations are "sanctified by the 
Word of God and prayer." From the altar of their 
dwellings arises, morning and evening, the incense of 
praise and of supplication ; and often are the sacred oracles 
laid open on the table, and read in the hearing of the 
assembled circle. In their families dancing, card-play- 
ing, and all foolish and hurtful conversation are forbidden, 
and such recreations only are allowed as will conduce to 
the healthful play of the intellectual and moral faculties 
of the souL 

Is this a true description of your home ? Then yours 
is a home indeed. Perhaps it is one of poverty and 
privation ; for we hope that this little work will be put 
into the hands of the children of the poor ; but, though 
the sun of worldly prosperity may not shine upon your 
dwelling, the sun of righteousness will shine upon it, 
and if so there will be privileges connected with it 
which many of the children of our nobility might envy. 
But perhaps it is a home of considerable comfort, or 
even one of comparative affluence and wealth. For 
though Wesleyan Methodism has been specially a mis- 
sion to the poor, many in the middle, and some in the 
higher circles of society, rejoice to stand connected with 
it as a branch of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ ; 
and in these cases the privileges of home are of a very 
superior character. There are Wesleyan families not a 
few, in every part of the land, where home-advantages 
are of such a kind as not to be exceeded in any religious 
families throughout the world. 

Of these home-privileges, youthful reader, we would 
affectionately remind you. When first you drew your 
breath a tender mother and a loving father lifted up 
their hearts to God and prayed that you might become 
his child; ere many weeks had passed away you were 



6 THE PRIVILEGES OF HOME. 

gWen to the Lord Jesus in the solemn rite of baptism ; 
and as soon as your infant lips could talk you were 
taught to put your little hands together and to say» 
** Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy 
name." Under what favourable circumstances were tlM 
days of your early childhood spent, compared with those 
under which many young people are brought up even 
in our father-land! I have sometimes seen a flower 
planted in a genial soil, and in a comer of the garden 
where it was sheltered from the furious blast, but where 
it would catch the sun's bright rays and be watered by 
the gentle shower. How like to the position of this 
flower is that of a child bom of Christian parents, and 
preserved, within the shade of a Christian home, from 
the temptations and allurements of the world. Far from 
the restraints which are imposed upon him being irksome 
and injurious they are highly valuable, and thankful 
should he be when his waywardness is checked and his 
■elf-will mortified, for otherwise they might lead him 
into the vortex of ruin* We knew a youth some years 
ago, who, though a child of Christian parents, formed 
an acquaintance with a boy who had been otherwise 
brought up, and who, from the description given by his 
companion of the theatre, conceived a strong desire to 
go to it He dared not do so, however, without his 
mother's leave, and he therefore asked her to allow him 
to ^0 just for once» But no! she feared what the conse- 
quences would be ; for she knew that if her son went 
once he would wish to go again, and though he urged 
the point repeatedly her consent she would not give. 
He thought her too severe, and, perhaps, somewhat 
unkind ; but into a theatre he never went, and he lived 
to thank God for his mother's firmness and decision. 
Under restraints of this kind you, I trust, are placed; 



THE BIBLE BEAD. 7 

and God forbid that you should ever break through 
them, or that you should ever forget the instruction of a 
father and forsake the law of a mother ; for ^ a foolish 
son is grief to his father, and bitterness "to her that bare 
hun." 

But your home-privileges are numerous and varied. 
Like Timothy, whose pious mother Eunice, and whose 
aged grandmother, Lois, ofttimes, probably, took him 
to their side and told him the histories of Joseph, and 
Samuel, and David, and Josiah, you have known the 
Holy Scriptures from your childhood, having been 
accustomed to hear them read at the family devotions, 
and having been taught to read them yourselves as soon 
as you could read at all. For Methodism is not like 
Popery, which denies to its disciples the privilege of 
reading the lively oracles unless they are encumbered 
with the notes and glosses of men. Methodism is 
essentially Protestant, and gives to her families the 
Book of God, with many earnest exhortations to read 
and to study it ; thus acting upon the principle of her 
great founder, Mr. Wesley, who said, ** Let me be ja man 
of one . book.** And in addition to th« Bible, — than 
which no greater treasure can be found, — ^you have had 
other books put into your hands of a most beneficial 
tendency and aim, — ^not the light, frothy, and injurious 
literature with which the minds of many of the youth of 
our country are poisoned, so that they lose all taste for 
anything solid and substantial, but works of sterling 
merit, — histories, biographies, and missionary narratives, 
suitable to your expanding minds, and calculated to 
elevate your thoughts and feelings. For in Christian 
&milies such as you belong to, books of this description 
only ought to be admitted ; and for the young to be kept 
m ignorance of works of a questionable character is 



d THE FBIYILEOES OF HOME. 

decidedly to their advantage^ whilst to have the oppor- 
tunity of reading at home works of real value in the 
several departments of literature and science is no small 
privilege ; and it is a privilege which many of the youth 
of Methodism possess. 

In your homes, too, prayer is daily offered up to God. 
Like the patriarch Job, who, fearing that his sons had 
sinned and cursed God in their hearts, offered burnt- 
offerings, according to their number, to make atonement 
for their transgressions, your father, youthful reader, 
kno¥ring that, both by nature and by practice, you are 
estranged from God, often bows the knee before the 
Throne of Grace, and pleads for you the merits of that 
great atonement offered by the Saviour on the cross. 
Have you not sometimes seen him in the attitude of 
prayer, the tear-drop starting in his eye, and his whole 
coimtenance indicative of the deep feeling of his breast? 
And have you not often heard the earnest supplications 
he has offered for the spiritual and eternal welfare of his 
children ? Or, perhaps, a mother's prayers come to your 
recollection, and you think of the chamber — so still and 
solemn — ^into which she took you when you were dis- 
obedient, and there talked to you until you wept and 
sobbed aloud, and then knelt down with you, and asked 
that, for Christ's sake, your sins might be forgiven. The 
privileges of such prayers who can estimate? Parents 
confer greater blessings on their children when they thus 
betimes lead them to the throne of God, than when they 
bestow on them the richest earthly gifts ; and far more 
favoured is the youth who has a pious father or a pious 
mother, than one who belongs to the titled nobility of 
the land, but whose parents are strangers to vital godli- 
ness. In a recent biography of one thus favoured, and 
who became an eminently holy and useful man, it is 



CHEISTIAN CONVEKSATION. 9 

said : — " Poyok, -when speaking of the religious character 
of his great poem, * The Course of Time/ said, * It has 
my mother's divinity,— the divinity she taught me "when 
I was a hoy :' and Jonas might have seiid of the whole of 
his after existence, that it was radiant with the divinity 
of his early home.** * Be thankful for the divinity o^ 
your early homes, ye youth of Methodism; it is the 
divinity of the New Testament, pure, experimental, prac* 
tical, and ennobling. 

At home you have the privilege of the best society, — 
the society, not only of your parents, but, if you are one 
of several children, the society of brothers and of sisters 
wrho love you tenderly, and whom you ought to love as 
much. How pleasant are the hours you spend together ! 
How kindly are the influences that play around your 
heads ! Strife, anger, passion, — do they ever rise within 
your breasts? In a moment they are hushed by a 
mother's gentle voice; and, ashamed that in such a 
family as yours they should be permitted to spring up, 
you check them in an instant, and all is peace and love. 
Sometimes, perhaps, your circle is enlivened by the 
presence of a friend, — an honoured teacher, or a devoted 
minister of Christ, and then how pleasant and instructive 
is the conversation which you hear, and in which, as you 
grow older, you are permitted to take part! We pre- 
sume that in your families the topics of conversation are 
not the frivolous topics of the day, or the changing 
fashions of the age, much less those << personalities '' 
which are " always spiced ¥rith inore or less of malice." 
" Conversation," says an eminent writer, " may have all 
that is valuable in it, without anything that comes under 
the head of personality. The house in which, above all 

* *< Memorials of Jonas Sagden," by R. Spence Hardy. 



10 THE FBIYILEGES OF HOME. 

Others I have ever been an inmate in, the life and the 
spirit and the joy of conversation have been the most 
intense, is a house in which I hardly ever heard an evil 
word uttered against any one." * And such convcprsa- 
tion only you, we trust, are accustomed to hear— coovsr- 
|ation which, if not always strictly religious, is always 
seasoned with the salt of piety, and is, therefore, always 
profitable both to the head and to the heart There are 
religious families, it is true, or families who wish to be 
thought religious, who indulge in conversation the most 
trivial and foolish, and who, for want of some other sub- 
ject perhaps, do not hesitate to utter words, even in the 
presence of the youngest children, injurious to the 
character and reputation of their neighbours ; but few, 
we trust, are the families belonging to that community 
whose founder called himself, and doubtless was '* the 
friend of all, the enemy of none,'' in which such topics of 
conversation are allowed a place, for to vital piety they 
are a decided foe, and will soon, if countenanced, eat out 
its substance and its life. No ; yours is a pleasant home, 
a peaceful home, a happy home ; so much so that though 
it may not be a palace in which you dwell, but, in the 
eye of the traveller who passes by it, a very humble cot» 
yet a home it is, to you more attractive than the noblest 
mansion which you ever yet beheld. Happy are the 
hours you spend within its walls ; sweet is the converse 
in which you there engage. With one of England'« 
greatest poets, and one who above many loved an Eng- 
lish home, you perhaps can say, — 

" Oh days of heaven and nights of equal praise, 
Serene and peaoeftil as those heavenly days, 
When souls drawn upward in communion sweet, 
Ei^oy the stillness of some close retreat, 

» *• Guesses at Truth," II., p. 830. 



THOUGHTS OF HOME WHEN ABSENT. 11 

Discoarse as if released and safe at home 
Of dangers past and wonders yet to come, 
And spread the sacred treasures of the breast 
Upon the lap of covenanted rest." 

But do you, then, value the pmil^es of your home? 
There are many young people who do not value them 
until Ihey are deprived of them« and then they regret 
that they were so little conscious of their worth. How 
does the sailor-boy think of his home and dwell on the 
recollection of it when he is tossed upon the mountain 
wave, and the storm threatens to overwhelm his bark, 
and no friendly voice is near to soothe his agitated 
mind! And it may be your lot some day, youthful 
reader, to leave your fisither's house, to encounter life's 
rough sea, and even to cross, as a sailor or an emigrant, 
the boisterous main. And then, if you do not now, will 
you know the value of a father's counsels and a mother's 
prayers, a brother's friendship and a sister's love, and 
then, when regrets are comparatively useless, you will 
perhaps be sorry that you thought so little of horne^ 
privileges when you had them. It may be that you 
sometimes fancy that you could jQnd greater happiness 
^elsewhere, and that you long for the day, as many a youth 
does, when you will be set free from the restraints of your 
parents' dwelling and allowed to roam at pleasure where 
you ¥rill ; but be assured that wherever you may roam«* 
amid the spicy plains of the Orient, or the mighty forests 
of the West — ^through Europe's many peopled cities, or 
Africa's solitary glens, you will find no spot on earth like 
home — the home of your childhood and your early years. 
Love it therefore now, and value its privileges as you 
ought Do not think its rules too strict, its restraints too 
narrow, or its regulations too severe. '* It is good for a 
man that he bear the yoke in his youth ; " and among the 



12 THE PRITILEQE8 OF HOME. 

privileges of a home like yours this is one of the most 
valuable that it puts a check upon that waywardness of 
mind, and that disposition to thoughtlessness and frivolity 
to which the young in general are so prone. 

O blessed privileges of a pious home ! Who can count 
their num1)er ? who can estimate their worth ? Happier 
is that youth who grows up within their influence than 
he who dwells amid the luxury and the splendour of an 
eastern court. Were I a child again I would say, give 
me the humblest cottage in the land if it be consecrated 
by a father's prayers and a mother's tender care, in pre- 
ference to the wealthiest home on earth, where Jesus is 
not known nor loved. 

But perhaps some child or youth whose eye lights 
upon this page will say, " Alas, I have no such home as 
you have now described. I had once, but now I am an 
orphan, cast upon the wide, wide world, with few friends 
to care for me, and no place on earth that I can really 
call my home. Yet I am one of the youth of Methodism, 
for I was nurtured in its bosom, and I still attend a 
Wesleyan Sabbath-school." Yes, yours, dear child, is a 
painful lot, but if your parents loved the Saviour He 
has taken them to himself, and that for some wise reason 
which you are, at present, unable to comprehend. Nor 
will He forget you, for God is called " the father of the 
fatherless," and David knowing that He was such, said, 
^< When my father and my mother forsake me, then the 
Lord wlQ take me up.** Many an orphan child who has 
been deprived of the privileges of his early home has 
become, in a very remarkable way, " a child of provi- 
dence,*' and around him there has been thrown a mighty 
arm protecting him in danger, and leading him in a path 
of light. Look up, then, to your father's God, and the 
prayers he offered for you on his dying bed that God will 



HOPE FOB THE SOBBOWFUL. 13 

hear, and you shall find that though " alone " you are 
" not alone," but that He is ever with you* 

" Shrink not from life's bitter cup, 
God shall bear thy spirit up : 
He shall lead thee safely on, 
Till the ark of rest is won, 
TUl thy spirit is set free 
As thy day, thy strength shall be.'^ 

" But mine," says another of our readers, " is in some 
respects a still more painful lot. I have a home, but it 
is not a happy one. No prayer is ever ofiered there, nor 
are the sacred Scriptures ever read; but there God's 
laws are broken, his Sabbaths desecrated, and his name 
blasphemed. Yet I too claim a place among the youth 
of Methodism, for I am connected with its schools, and 
I love its sanctuaries." Poor youth ! We pity you indeed. 
Yet think not that yours is a hopeless case, and that you 
will never be able to rise above your circumstances. 
Perhaps you have heard of the poor lad of Plymouth, 
whose father 'was addicted to intemperance, and who, 
as he was one day assisting that father in his employ- 
ment as a builder, fell from the top of a ladder, and 
became by the fall so deaf that he could never afterwards 
distinguish any sounds. There was nothing for the 
poor ^ lad after that but the workhouse ; and to the 
workhouse he was accordingly consigned. Yet from 
that receptacle of pauperism and wretchedness he rose, 
by his own efforts, to considerable eminence, and, as 
Dr. John Kitto, the editor of the " Pictorial Bible," and 
the author of many valuable works, he possesses an 
almost world-wide fame. Nor must you forget that 
you may even be the instrument, in the hands of God, 
of changing the aspect of your home, and making it a 
home of piety and peace. Some time ago a gracious 



14 THE PEIYILE0E8 OF HOME. 

reriTal of religion took place in a village in Yorkshire, 
during which many children and young people sought 
and found the inestimable blessing of pardon through 
tbe blood of Christ Among them was a poor lad whose 
parents were imgodly, and whose home was, therefore, 
not a happy one. Having obtained a sense of God's 
favour one evening at the chapel, he hastened home 
with a heart overflowing with love and joy, to tell his 
relatives and friends of the change which had been 
wrought within his breast *< Father," said he, as he 
entered the dwelling, his countenance beaming with 
delight, and his eyes filled with tears, " father, God has 
forgiven me all my sins, and we must have family prayers 
to-night, and you must pray and mother too.'' His 
father and his mother could not utter a word. They 
fell upon their knees and began to weep, and the poor 
boy prayed for them, that God would convert and save 
them also. From that time their house became a house 
of prayer j they began to attend the Christian sanctuarj-, 
and a great change was soon apparent in their life and 
conduct. How much may a pious youth accomplish, 
though poor his circumstances and numerous his priva- 
tions ! We should rejoice if all the youth of Methodism 
possessed the privileges of a pious home ; but let those 
who do not still take heart, and one day God may shine 
upon their dwellings and fill them with the radiancy of 
peace and love. 



SECTION n. 

THE PRIVILEGES OF SCHOOU 

'*Tlii8 fond attachment to the well-known place, 
Whence first we started into life's long race, 
Maintains its hold with such unfailing sway, 
We feel it even in age, and at our latest day." — Cowpeb. 

Home is a school, the first, and therefore the most 
important in which a child is ever placed. There the 
tender sapling receives its earliest bent ; there the little 
stream of life is directed in the beginning of its course. 
For good, or for 6vil, home is a school where lessons are 
taught, ideas formed, and principles imbibed which are 
sure to influence our after-life. A child's education 
begins when he is a nursling on his mother's lap, and 
under the parental roof it is carried on for a considerable 
time, so that impressions are there made upon the mind 
which no change of circumstances will ever totally erase. 
It would be well if parents always remembered this. 
Momentous is the task assigned to them, and fearful are 
the responsibilities under which they lie. With every 
infant given them there comes a message from above. 
" Here is an immortal spirit committed to your charge. 
Train it for the skies and it will probably become an heir 
of bliss. Neglect its moral and religious interest, and 
the almost certain consequence will be its everlasting 
loss." 



16 THE FBIVILEGE8 OF SCHOOL. 

But the home-school is not the only school in which 
a child is trained. In some instances home education 
may be protracted with advantage, even until a youth 
has reached his teens ; but sooner or later, he must step 
beyond the threshold of his father's door, and, lest he 
should become a mere hothouse plant, be exposed to 
the tempests of the open world. Yet it would not do to 
send him at once into the midst of the busy scenes of 
life. For these he is not yet prepared. He needs yet 
further training for the battle he will be called to fight. 
And the school is a kind of intermediate position between 
his father's house and the world. Thither then let him 
go if possible, and there let him be further taught what- 
ever it is desirable he should learn, that thus being 
gradually weaned from home-endearments, he may after- 
wards be prepared to step upon a higher stage of life, 
and, though retaining all his fond remembrances of a 
father's and a mother's love, feel himself sufficiently a 
man to contend with the difficulties which he may be 
ultimately called to meet. 

For the children of her people Wesleyan Methodism 
has provided schools of various grades, from the most 
elementary ones for infants, to colleges for the instruction 
of youth in the highest branches of literature and science. 
The first building ever raised by Mr. Wesley was a school 
for the poor at Kingswood, to which he incidentally 
refers in his journal of June 26, 1739. He subsequently 
commenced a school at the Foundry in Moorfields, 
London ; and by several valuable publications, as well as 
by the rules he laid down to be observed by the Me- 
thodist preachers, he did more to promote the interests 
of the rising generation of his day than had been 
previously done by any one man for many years, 
Methodism came forth from the first, armed with 



. THE SABBATH-SCHOOL. 17 

the panoply of heaven, to do battle with the i^orance 
that filled the land, and as she has gathered strength 
in her career, she has continued to wage the mighty 
warfare, a sworn and inveterate foe to sin and error, 
and an advocate for the spread of knowledge among all 
classes of the people. Hence, independently of her 
numerous private schools, and of her collegiate and other 
institutions, the Westminster Training School excepted, 
she now possesses 434 daynschools, having in them 
52,636 scholars, whilst of Sunday-schools she has 
4,166, containing scholars to the number of 437,814. 

Is it possible, then, to form an adequate conception of 
the privileges of the youth of Methodism, arising from 
the schools in which they are instructed ? We believe 
that there are few of them, in the present day, even 
in the obscurest village of the land, who have not at 
least a Sabbathnschool to go to ; and as our Sabbath- 
schools are the widest in their extent and operations, we 
will first remind you of the privileges which flow from 
them. 

In the Sabbath-school you are taught to regard the 
sacredness of the Lord's-day, and by your attendance 
there, are drawn away from the path of worldly pleasure, 
which so many enter on that day, to the destruction 
of their highest weal. To the railway excursionist, 
er the steamboat traveller, or the rambler in the 
fields, Sundays may appear very happy days ; but 
we . will venture to say that when he lays down 
to rest at night» he is more weary in body, and far 
less peaceful in mind, than the scholar or the teacher 
of the Sabbathnschool, who has been diligently occu- 
pied in the duties of his class. We remember being 
once, in our boyhood, enticed to engage in a boat 
excursion on the river on a Sabbath afternoouy instead 
o 



18 THE PBITILEGES OF SCHOOL. 

of going to the school as usual. Was that afternoon a 
happy one think you P No ; it was one of the most 
wretched we ever spent ; and we are persuaded that, if 
the conscience is not seared, Sunday recreations are 
always attended, or always followed, by disquietude and 
distress of mind. Invaluable is the Sabbath-school as a 
preventive of Sabbath desecration, and grateful should 
every child be who has been led within its waUs for the 
restraints under which it places him from running with a 
multitude that do evil. It is a privilege to wear the 
yoke when it is a yoke so gentle, and when, if it were 
not imposed, we should be in danger of rushing down 
the fearful precipice and being dashed to pieces; and 
hence we trust that you will never be disposed to cast it 
off until you are called to occupy some other post Love 
the Sabbath and the Sabbath-school, and learn to say 
and sing : — 

*< Each Sabbath is a little pause 

Between the world and me, 
My selfish troubles it 8usi>ends, 

It makes my soul more free. 
Each Sabbath, then, I turn aside, 

O world I from thy pursuits ; 
*Tis sacred to the eternal cause. 

And sacred be its fruits." 

But there are other, and in some respects, still 
greater privileges in the Sabbath-school. There you 
learn to read, and not only to read, but in some degree 
to understand, God's Holy Word, for there your teacher 
in a kind and gentle voice, like that of one I well 
remember who has long since entered into rest, seeks to 
impress upon your minds the lessons of eternal truth, 
and to lead you to the springs from which the living 
water gushes forth. For in Wesleyan, as in all Pro- 
testant SundayHschools, the Bible is a class-book, and its 



THE SABBATH 8CH0LAB IK THE HOSPITAL. 19 

sacred pages are laid open to the eye as soon as a child 
is capable of reading them. And can you forget its 
facts and histories, or can you forget its admonitions 
and its warnings ? No ; the Sabbath-school is a mould 
into which the youthful mind being cast it there re- 
ceives an impress which it can never wholly lose, and 
one which in instances innumerable leads to its 
renovation in righteousness and holiness of life. Many 
an one has left the Sabbath-school and entered on 
the scenes of active life, who, though for awhile 
thoughtless and forgetful of the lessons taught him, 
has afterwards, when far away from home perhaps, — 
fan. the mighty ocean, in the distant colony, or, it may 
be, in the field of battle, — had those lessons brought to lus 
remembrance, and has wept, and prayed, and sought an 
interest in the Cross. *'Have you a praying mother, 
and were you ever taught in a Sunday-school?" said 
Miss Nightingale to a youth who had been wounded on 
the plains of Inkermann, and whom, during his confine- 
ment in the hospital at Scutari, she watched like an 
angel with the utmost tenderness. He replied in the 
affirmative ; and she said, *^ So I thought, for even in 
the height of delirium you were always referring to your 
mother's prayers, with those of other good people, and 
were never tired of talking about Mr. Charles Cuth- 
bertson and Mr. John Perry." Ah! these persons had 
been his teachers in the Wesleyan Sunday-school, and 
here, on the bed of suffering, and in the midst of 
strangers, he remembered them, even when his mind was 
much disturbed, — an illustration this, of which thousands 
mi^t be given, of the unspeakable value of Sabbath- 
school privileges. 

Based upon the soundest Christian principles, and 
generally conducted by persons of piety and experience, 
C2 



20 THE PBIVILEGES OF SCHOOL. 

our Wesleyan Sunday-schools are like beautiful nurseries, 
where the tenderest plants are trained and cultivated 
with the utmost care, and where ultimately clusters of 
rich ripe fruit are seen hanging around on every side. 
If the fruit does not appear, or if, ere it ripens, it is 
withered and destroyed, the fault is not in the nursery, 
but in the fact that the plant has been taken out of it 
and exposed to the unkindly blasts of the wilderness, or 
to the imgenlal climate of the world. 

In our day-schools these advantages are combined 
with many others. I never enter one of those institu- 
tions now under the care of the Wesleyan Committee of 
Education, whether in a town or in a country village^ 
without feeling the superiority of the position in which 
the rising generation of the present day are placed in 
comparison with that occupied by their parents, nor 
without gratitude to God that such a change has taken- 
place within less than half a century, that a poor man's 
child can now obtain a better education than was formerly 
given to the children of the middle classes of society. 
Do you attend one of these schools, youthful reader ? 
Yours are privileges which many a merchant's and many 
a nobleman's son would have been proud of in former 
times. Instruction is given to you in all the elementary 
branches of useful knowledge, and it is conveyed in sudi 
a way as to render it comparatively easy of acquintion, 
and almost as much a recreation as a task. You live, per- 
haps, far away from the crowded city — ^in some coni<- 
paratively quiet village ; and your parents are but poor, 
so that to gain a livelihood you are compelled to labour 
for some hours each day in the field or in the mill ; but 
in the village is the valuable day-school, and there yon 
can spend a portion of your time in learning to read, to 
V write, and to understand accounts, qualifications whicb 



THE DAY-SCHOOL. 21 

open up to you fields of enjoyment and sources of power 
that in former ages were closed against the kings and 
princes of the earth. And if you are diligent you may 
advance beyond the first principles of knowledge. You 
may learn something of history, and geography, and 
music, and drawing ; and you may thus lay the founda- 
tion, as not a few in your circumstances have done, of 
an English education which will fit you for any position 
in life into which providence may hereafter call you. 
Happy youth! Yours, in comparison with that of 
thousands, is an enviable lot, and we could wish that 
every child in <Hhis imperial realm'' might soon stand 
in it, 

« so that none, 
Howeyer destitute, be left to dioop 
By culture unsustained; or run 
Into a wild disorder ; or be forced 
To drudge through weary life without the help 
Of intdlectual implements and tools ; 
A savage horde among the civilized, 
A servile band among the lordly free." 

Nor would we forget to remind you that it is strictly 
a religious education which is given you. In Wesleyan 
day-schools religion lies at the foundation of ever}'thing, 
and runs through every exercise and duty. So at least 
■their conductors would have it; and it is their aim to 
make them the instruments of rearing a moral, God- 
fearing, and Christian population. They seek, too, 
" not to develope prematurely and forcibly the facul- 
ties of the mind," but to aid the child in putting forth 
its faculties more vigorously, and to bring out its com- 
paratively dormant powers by a gradual process such as 
it can bear. Up to God would your teachers lead your 
minds, that knowing Him you may love Him, and that 



22 THE PBIYILE0E8 OF SCHOOL. 

loving Him you may daily walk in the light of his 
countenance and under the guidance of his eye. 

But perhaps the reader belongs to another class of 
the Youth of Methodism — those whose parents have the 
means of sending them to one of those seminaries which 
are conducted by private individuals, and which are 
found in very many of the towns and cities of Great 
Britain, or to one of those proprietary and collegiate 
establishments which are now exerting so powerfid an 
influence on some of the rising race. In either case, or 
in case you belong to ** the sons of the prophets," and are 
receiving your education at New Kingswood, or at the 
Grove, your school privileges are of the highest order. 
You are not under the parental roof it is true, and yet 
you have all, or nearly all, the comforts and enjoyments 
of home, for you are surrounded with teachers and with 
friends who are anxious to promote your happiness, and 
whose constant aim is to lead you into the paths of truth 
and peace. As in your father's house, so also at school, 
no dancing, card-playing, or other recreations of an 
hurtful tendency are allowed; for we trust that in all 
Wesleyan schools such things are felt to be inconsistent 
with religion, and are, therefore, not only discounten- 
anced, but forbidden. Time was when few public schools 
existed in the land, in which the morals of young people 
were not imperiled ; and hence Cowper, in his *•' Tiro- 
cinium, or Review of Schools," says,— 

" Would you your son should be a sot or duncd, 
Lascivious, headstrong, or all these at once, 
That in good time, the stripling's finish'd tastd 
For loose expense and fashionable waste 
Should prove your ruhi, and his own at last, 
Train him in public with a mob of boys 
Childish in mischief only and in noise, 
Else of a mannish growth, and five in ten 
In infidelity and lewdness, men." 



OUB COLLEGES. 23 

But thongh there are doubtless many schools yet, against 
which the same objections might be raised, we rejoice to 
know that, with the advancing intelligence of the times, 
a great improvement has taken place in most of these 
institutions, and that in Wesleyan schools of the class 
now referred to much care and vigilance are exerted to 
prevent the evils formerly complained of, and to render 
these establishments homes of piety for the cultivation of 
the purest moral principles, as well as for the expansion 
of the intellectual powers. True, a boy may be indolent, 
vicious, and immoral if he will ; but if he b notoriously 
so, he will not be permitted to remain in the school 
long ; and if he is so secretly the blame rests with him- 
self. From what we know, and have seen, of many of 
the higher class of schools connected with Wesleyan 
Methodism, our conviction is that our young people have 
as many fences thrown around them there as they could 
have anywhere, and that if, as Dr. Arnold has shown,* a 
child must, sooner or later, become acquainted with evil 
as well as with good, and so cease to be a child in a 
certain sense, he can be placed in no transitionary state 
less hurtful to him than a Wesleyan school, nor in any 
position where he will learn so little evil combined with 
so much good. You, whom we are addressing, know 
this, and you know that if you are wicked or immoral it 

* ** For the truth is, that to the knowledge of good and evil we are 
bom ; and it must come upon us sooner or later. In the common course 
of things, it comes about that age with which we are here most concerned. 
I do not mean that there are not faults in early childhood, we know that 
there are ; but we know also that with the strength and rapid growth of 
boyhood there is a fur greater development of these faults, and par- 
ticularly far less of that submissiveness which belonged naturally to 
the helplessness of mere childhood. I suppose that, by an extreme 
care, the period of childhood might be prolonged considerably ; but still 
it must end ; and the knowledge of good and evil, in its fUll force, 
tnust come."— iSerinoiM on ** The Christian Life, 8ce.," p. 8. 



24 THE PRIYILEGES OF SCHOOL. 

is because your own evil hearts bare led you astray, and 
because you have not regarded the instruction and adyice 
which have been g^ven to you so often by friends and 
teachers. 

Your moral and religious privileges are of the greatest 
value. Hence many of your predecessors hare risen to 
the highest eminence in the Church of Christ, and if you 
follow their example, you also may rise to eminence. 
And as it respects your intellectual advantages what 
could you wish for more? In classical literature, in 
mathematical science, and in general knowledge, the 
richest stores are opening to your minds, and if on your 
part there be diligence and application you may gain as 
lofty a position in the republic of letters as any of the 
alumni of Oxford or of Cambridge. Some of the first 
men in the Christian ministry, at the bar, and in the 
department of medical and other sciences, received their 
education where you are now receiving yours ; and 
certainly {{you are left behind in the race for learning, it 
will be because you loiter and make no effort to keep 
ahead. 

There is an important distinction between instruction 
and education. To instruct is to impart information ; to 
educate is to lead the mind out after truth and God. 
The latter as well as the former is the design of the 
training to which you * are subject. Your teachers are 
anxious not only to inform you of what you were before 
ignorant, but to induce you to come out of yourselves, to 
use yoiur own faculties, moral and intellectual, and to 
aspire after the highest attainments in knowledge and in 
goodness of which you are capable. 0, value the privi- 
leges you possess I You are planted in a genial soil, and 
may attain, if you will, a lofty growth in whatever con- 
stitutes thfi true dignity of man. If you rise into 



INSTRUCTION AND EDUCATION. 25 

maturer life with stunted intellects and contracted minds, 
with unregenerate natures and unsanctified affections, 
you will have no reason to say the fault was in your 
" Alma Mater," for she is now watching over you with 
the utmost care, and fostering your minds with the 
greatest diligence. Perhaps you will love her some day 
better than you love her now. Perhaps you will one 
day estimate your privileges far more highly than you, do 
at present. But remember, that these school-days when 
past can never be recalled, and that, ere long, regret of 
misspent time and lost opportunities will be vain and 
useless. " Youth," says a writer now no more, " is one 
of the precious opportunities of life, — rich in blessing if 
you choose to make it so, but having in it the materials 
of undying remorse if you suffer it to pass unimproved." 



SECTION m. 

THE PRIVILEGES OF THE SANCTUARY. 

" Better a day thy courti within, 
Than thousands in the tents of sin, — 

How base the noldest pleasures there ! 
How great the weakest child of thine I 
His meanest task is all divine. 

And kings and priests thy servants an." 

Pebhaps there are no greater privileges enjoyed by man 
on earth than those of a Christian sanctuary, in which 
God is worshipped in sincerity and his Word is preached 
with power. Buildings there are, some of them exceed- 
ingly imposing in then: architecture, having lofty towers, 
and fretted roofs, and painted windows, and decorated 
altars, in which, it is to be feared. He is not thus wor- 
shipped, and in which His Word, if preached at all, is 
mingled with so much of human error as to be hurtful 
and injurious rather than beneficial, and to lead the 
mind into the regions of vain and empty speculation. 
But sanctuaries we have — and in favoured England they 
are by no means few — in which true worshippers worship 
the Father, and in which heaven-sent ministers proclaim 
Christ crucified with the demonstration of the Spirit and 
with power. And whether such sanctuaries are called 
cathedrals, or chapels, or kirks, and whether they are 
large and imposing, or but small and insignificant, they 
are spots very near the gate of heaven, in which privi- 



SABBATH RECBEATIONS. 27 

leges are enjoyed, the full value of 'which no treasures of 
gold, or silver, or precious stones can represent. 

Such sanctuaries, we do not hesitate to say, the 
youth of Methodism possess. Sabhath after Sabbath the 
feet of thousands of our youth are conducted by Chris* 
tian parents or teachers to places (some of which were 
erected by their earlier ancestors, and around some of 
which repose many of the ashes of the sainted dead), 
which, if not memorable for their great antiquity, are 
memorable for the visitations from on high which have 
ofttimes been realized within their walls. How beautiful 
is the sight which may be witnessed on the Lord's-day 
in every town, nay, in almost every village in the land, 
of considerable numbers of children and young people 
wending their way to the habitations of the Holy One, 
and taking their seats in the house of God, there to join 
in the songs of Sion, and there to listen to the Word of 
Life ! We have seen, especially in some of our many* 
peopled cities, numbers of the young led on the Sabbath 
to the railway station or the pleasure-garden; and we 
have seen, in the otherwise quiet hamlets of the country, 
many of them loitering in the fields during the sacred 
hours of the Lord's-day. Such young people may think 
themselves happy, and ma^ talk of their liberty, and 
even boast of their freedom from the restraints of public 
worship ; but happier far are those, and much greater is 
their freedom, who have been taught to " call the Sab* 
bath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable," and 
who have learnt to say, " How amiable are thy taber- 
nacles, Lord of hosts ! " For true happiness is to be 
found, not in the round of worldly pleasures, but in the 
walks of heavenly wisdom, whose " ways are ways of 
pleasantness," and all whose " paths are peace." 

That the youth of the Church of England, !and the 



28 THE FRIYILEQES OF THE SANCTUABT. 

youth of many Dissenting Churches, possess, to a great 
extent, the priTileges on which we are now about to 
dwell, we most joyfully admit ; but that the sanctuaries 
of Methodism offer advantages to the young seldom 
equalled and never surpassed, will be admitted by every 
one, whether old or young, who has been accustomed for 
any length of time to attend them. Nowhere is there 
purer worship ; nowhere is there a more effective ministry ; 
nowhere are there more frequent conversions to God. 

Is it a privilege to join a Christian congregation in 
the holy worship of the Lord Jehovah f The youth of 
Methodism are favoured with it. The genuine sim- 
plicity and the heartfelt fervour which usually charac- 
terise the services of our sanctuaries are admirably suited 
to the youthful mind, the powers of which, as they 
gradually expand, are thereby brought into the moat 
healthful play. In Wesleyan chapels there are none 
of those outward attractions which present themselves in 
the sanctuaries of the Church of Rome — the splendid altar, 
the imposing picture, the officiating priest, — ^all which 
things belonged to an inferior dispensation, and which 
tend to make worship merely ceremonial ; but, what is 
far better, there is the earnest prayer, liturgical or extem- 
pore, which even a child may understand, and in which 
the youngest worshipper may join; and there is the 
hymn of praise rising up to heaven from united hearts, 
the sentiments of which are truly scriptural, and the 
poetry of which is pure and elevated. We cannot 
refrain from dwelling for a moment on the incomparable 
hymn-book which has been left to us as a sacred legacy 
by our fathers. Where, taking it as a whole, is such 
another to be found ? A considerable number of the 
hymns which it contains were written by the Rev. Charles 
Wesley, who has therefore been called ''the Poet of 



OUB HYMN-BOOK. 29 

Methodism,'' and who, as a writer of hymns, is placed 
by Montgomery, the bard of Sheffield, as second only to 
Dr. Watts. Many of the hymns of Dr. Watts are pre-- 
eminently beautiful, and some of the best of them axe 
found in the hymn-book referred to ; but the hymns of 
the Eev. Charles Wesley, as well as several by his brother 
John, a few of them translations from the German, often 
rise higher in Christian sentiment — in faith, and love, 
and hope, than any hymns in the English language. 
"He has invested" his hymns "with a power of truth, 
and endeared them both to the imagination and the 
afifections, with a pathos which makes feeling conviction, 
and leaves the understanding little to do but to acquiesce 
in the decisions of the heart" * 

Popery has her hymns, some of them very ancient, 
and in sentiment unobjectionable; but some of them 
hymns to the praise of the Virgin, and some even 
to Joseph, the reputed father of our Lord. Pope 
Pius VII. granted an indulgence to every one who 
should devoutly repeat the following stanza:—- 

" Whoever blessed with health would spend 
Life's transient day, and calmly end 

That day without a fear ; 
To Joseph let them turn their eyes» 
To Joseph let their prayers arise, 

And he their prayers will hear." 

What a contrast to the scriptural and soul-elevating 
sentiments of one of our hymns in the same metre ! 

" O Lore Divine, how sweet thou art, 
"When shaU I find my willing heart 

All taken up by thee f 
I thirst, I fidnt, I die to prove 
The greatness of redeeming love. 

The love of Christ to me," ice, &c 

^ Introductory Essay to the "Christian Psalmist" by James UonU 
gomery. 



30 THE PBTVILEGES OF THE SANCTUABY. 

Words such as these last are often on the lips of 
Wesleyan congregations, and heart-stirring is it to wit- 
ness a whole assembly rising to sing them ; and to hear 
the voices of children and young people joining in the 
lofty strain. Eren where, as in some village congrega- 
tions, the music is not so rich in harmony as to please a 
scientific ear, there is, or may be, in the singing, much to 
cheer and elevate the soul ; and that our youth are taught 
almost from their infancy to lisp in flowing verse the 
praises of their God and Saviour, is in itself a privilege 
too valuable to be duly weighed. Of all uninspired 
productions we would commend to the youth of Me- 
thodism this incomparable volume (including the hymns 
recently published for the young) as a book of poetry 
surpassed by none for purity of style and loftiness of 
thought, combined with expressions full of beautiful 
simplicity and of child-like confidence and hope. " Those 
hymns," says a recent writer, " are now sung in collieries 
and coppermines. How many has their heavenly music 
strengthened to meet death in the dark coal-pit; on 
how many dying hearts have they come back, as from 
a mother's lips, on the battle-field; beside how many 
death-beds have they been chanted by trembling voices, 
and listened to with joy unspeakable ; how many have 
they supplied with prayer and praise, from the first 
thrill of spiritual fear to the last rapture of heavenly 
hope ! They echo along the Cornish moors as the corpse 
of the Christian miner is borne to his last resting-place ; 
they cheer with heavenly messages the hard bondage of 
slavery ; they have been the first words of thanksgiving 
on the lips of the liberated negro; they have given 
courage to brave men, and patience to suffering women ; 
they have been a liturgy engraven on the hearts of the 
poor J they have borne the name of Jesus far and wide, 



THE MINISTRY. 31 

and have helped to write it deep on countless hearta* 
And England is no more without a people's hymn- 
book."* 

Is a a privilege to attend on a ministry truly scrip- 
turalt edifying, and instructive f That privilege is pos- 
sessed by the youth of Methodism. Much is said and 
written now-a-days respecting the pulpit and those 
who occupy ity and we do not regret this if it tends to 
improve the character of pulpit ministrations, for the 
times demand that they should be of the very highest 
order. But we are far from thinking that the pulpits of 
our land are not well supplied, and we would have our 
youth to close their ears against those insinuations of 
the public press which would lead them to depreciate 
the preaching of the day. They are thrown out, for the 
most part, by men who have little or no regard for the 
truth, and who cannot listen with pleasure to a modem 
sermon because it disturbs their consciences and mortifies 
the pride of their unrenewed hearts. Had they lived 
in former days, they would have found as much fault 
with the Christian ministry as they do now. The fact is 
that in all our Evangelical Churches there are ministers 
and preachers not a few, of whom any age might be 
justly proud, and by whom the great truths of the 
Gospel are proclaimed from week to week with the 
greatest earnestness and zeal. But there is no ministry, 
taking it as a whole, superior to that with which Method- 
ism is favoured. It was raised up by Divine Providence, 
above a century ago, to rouse with a trumpet voice a 
slumbering nation from its lethargy; and it has been 
perpetuated to this day, bearing essentially the same 
characteristics as those which distinguished it at the first. 

• « The Voice of Chriitian Lille in S^ng," p. 264. Nifbet, London. . 



32 THE PBIYILEQE8 OF THE 8ANCTUABY. 

It is, we beliere, a godly ministry, and whilst in its ranks 
there are men of great variety of talents and acquire- 
ments, the doctrines it proclaims are everywhere the 
same, and the effects produced by it everywhere bene- 
ficiaL We regret that there should be such a diversity 
of teaching in many Christian sanctuaries, — ux one, 
semi-Popish or Tractarian error; in a second, broad 
Rationalistic dogmas; and in a third, the most fidgid 
disquisitions on moral duty, instead of clear expositions 
of Christian doctrine; yet such is the acknowledged 
fSEict. But into whatever Wesleyan chapel you enter, 
whether in the crowded city, where the pulpit is 
occupied by one of the leading ministers of the body, 
or in some remote hamlet, where the preacher is but 
an humble layman, the trumpet will give a certain 
sound, and you will hear essentially the same great 
truths ; man's fidl, and man's redemption ; salvation by 
faith; the necessity of the new birth; the privileges of 
the believer; and the duty of aspiring after Christian 
holiness. 

In many instances these truths are set forth with 
burning words and overwhelming power, such as charac- 
terised the ministry of the Wesleys themselves, or of 
such men as Benson, Mather, Pawson, Dr. A. Clarke^ 
Stoner, Watson, Smith, Newton, and many others; who 
though they have finished their course, have left their 
mantles behind them, which have fallen on their sons 
and successors in the work. Under their preaching 
many of your fathers sat, and by it were aroused to a 
sense of their guilt and danger, and then led in penitence 
and faith to Christ. And now it is your privilege to 
listen to the ministry of those whom they were the 
instruments of raising up, and who possess much of 
their spirit, zeal, and piety. We have heard some 



THE CONVEETINQ POWEB OF GOD. 33 

young people say, '' How much we should like to have 
heard Mr. Wesley, or Mr. Benson, or Dr. Adam Clarke, 
preach!" and they seem to think that, because these 
good men died before they were bom, or were old 
enough to hear them or to appreciate their ministry, 
they have sustained an irreparable loss. But let them 
remember to whom they may listen, and let them learn 
to Talue the living ministry ^ the ministry of their own 
times, the ministry which God has sent amongst them 
for their conversion and instruction. Let them not 
listen to those who would disparage that ministry; 
neither let them learn to ape the critic, and when they 
come from the sanctuary on the Sabbath morning or 
evening, try to find fault with the sermon instead of 
gathering from it profitable instruction. Our intelligent 
and better educated youth are greatly in danger of this, 
especially if the ministry they attend is not of the highest 
intellectual character ; but to despise even the humblest 
messenger of the cross, if he preaches the truth according 
to his abilities, is no evidence of good sense, nor can it 
ever be beneficial to the mind, or pleasing in the sight 
of God. The youth of Methodism may go to many 
a pasture before they will find one richer than their own. 
They may wander about, with an ear for novelties, to 
many a sanctuary, ere they will meet with better preachers 
than they have. Many of them are fed with " the finest 
of the wheat," and if they will but listen to and appre- 
ciate the instructions of the pulpit, we doubt not that 
they will become wise and holy Christians. 

Is it a privilege to he often within the range of the con- 
Verting power of God, and therefore to he the euhfects, 
and that very frequently , of the drawings of the Holy 
Ghost f The youth of Methodism possess this privilege 
too. A measure of Divine influence generally connects 
D 



34 THE PBIVILEGES OF THE SANCTUARY. 

itself with the proclamation of the truth, even when the 
preacher is not himself a converted man ; for the Holy 
Spirit loves to do honour to God's own Word, and will 
sometimes employ it for the sinner's good, even when 
uttered hy unhallowed lips. Hence genuine conversions, 
doubtless, take place in all Protestant and Evangelical 
Churches, and perhaps there is not a Christian sanctuary 
in the land in which tJie truth has been preached for 
any length of time, that has not been the birthplace of 
immortal souls. To attend any place of worship in 
which the great and leading doctrines of the Gospel are 
set forth is, therefore, to come within the sphere of the 
Spirit's operations, and to be in the tcay to obtain that 
grace by which the heart is renewed in righteousness 
and true holiness, and the soul set free from the bondage 
and the tyranny of sin. But no one will affirm that the 
same measure of Divine influence attends every ministry, 
and is felt in every sanctuary, for there are churches and 
chapels in which, though the hymns sung are unex- 
ceptionable in sentiment, and the sermons preached most 
orthodox in doctrine, there is, from some cause or other, a 
want of fervour, devotion, and power, so that the heart 
remains unsoftened, the conscience unawakened, and the 
will unbroken and unsubdued. Perhaps this is the case 
in some of our own sanctuaries at times, for every Chris- 
tian Church is liable to sink into a state of Laodicean 
ease, and to lose the life of genuine piety ; but we are 
persuaded that there are not many of our chapels in 
which, save where the Societies have become cold and 
dead, there is not frequently such a measure of Divine 
influence attending the ministry of the Word, that ofttimea 
the most careless are awakened, and the most thoughtless 
led to pray. What scenes of penitential sorrow have been 
witnessed, at one period or another, in almost every Wes- 



REVIVALS. 85 

leyan chapel in the land ! and what multitudes of persons, 
young and old, rich and poor, have there exchanged their 
filthy garments for the robes of righteousness and praise ! 
As a people, we have never been afraid of genuine 
revivals of religion, and I trust we never shall be ; and 
God has honoured the Methodist ministry in making it 
the instrument of the conversion of thousands of im- 
mortal souls. If anywhere you can get within the sphere 
of the influence of the Spirit — an influence which will 
take hold upon your youthful aflections, and draw them 
to the Saviour, — an influence which will subdue the pride 
and obstinacy of your hearts, and lead you to give those 
hearts to God, it is in the sanctuaries of that section of 
the Christian Church with which you are already in part 
connected, and hence we think that your privileges are in-* 
valuable, and are not surpassed by those of any of the 
youth of our country, either in the higher or the lower 
ranks of life. I might appeal on this point to the expe- 
rience of thousands of you. Have you not often gone, 
with your parents, your friends, or your Sabbath-school 
teachers, to the house of God, and there, as you have 
listened to the earnest and faithful addresses of the 
preacher, felt within your breasts strange emotions, good 
desires, and holy aspirations after God P and has not the 
thought arisen in your minds, " The minister is address- 
ing me ; I am the sinner he is now describing. I need 
that Saviour of whom he speaks ? " And have you not 
returned home, and either sought a place where you 
could pray in secret, or opened your mind to a pious 
mother, and made resolutions to turn from the paths of 
sin and folly, and to become the followers of Christ your 
Xord ? Aye, and some of you have carried those resolu- 
tions into practice. Perhaps, whilst yet within the sphere 
of that influence which came down upon you in the 
d2 



.36 THE PBIVILEGE8 OF THE SANCTUABY. 

,houee of God, you wept tears of penitence for sin, 
which, ere long, were exchanged for tears of gratitude 
and joy; and never will you forget the spot where 
the burden of your guilt was taken away, — where, like 
Bunyan's Pilgrim, you first caught sight of the cross, 
and the load that oppressed you fell off of itself, as by 
&ith you gazed upon the Crucified; or, perhaps, that 
influence followed you home, and, though you strove 
against it for a time, ultimately brought you in penitence 
to your Saviour's feet, where you heard the whispers of 
his voice, saying to you, " Thy sins are forgiven thee ; 
go in peace," 

It is, we believe, to those gracious visitations from on 
high with which God has often been pleased to favour 
our congregations that numbers owe their cohversion, and 
all the blessings consequent upon it ; and we know of no 
Christian community whose sanctuaries are more fre- 
quently pervaded with the influences of the Holy 
Spirit than our own, and therefore of none where 
the young would be more likely to be awakened to 
a sense of sin, and led into the possession of eifperimental 
piety. We fear, indeed, that just because the Wesleyan 
ministry is accompanied with so much of the Spirit's 
power, not a few of our youth, finding that they cannot 
sit under it with an easy conscience, go elsewhere, rather 
than listen to the searching appeals addressed to them, 
and endure the pain of resisting the convictions which 
frequently spring up within their breasts. But it is 
perilous for a youth to take such a step as this, for it is 
to trample on one of the greatest privileges which he 
can possibly enjoy, — to withdraw from a sphere in which 
he has been placed by the providence of God, and in 
which, if anywhere, he is in the way of becoming a par- 
taker of regenerating grace. Value, we beseech you, the 



DANGER OF DESPISING THEM. 37 

privileges of the sanctuary, and this among the rest,— 
that it is the place in which there frequently come down 
the genial showers of grace, in which the heart is 
softened, the mind illumined, and the conscience roused, 
and in which the joys of pardon often fill the breast, 
and the cry is heard of exulting new>bom souls. 



€!ii EiajniDBiliilitiJH nf iju ^rnjtj nf 



" SEEING YOU ALL, SO liAl^X LIVINQ SOULS FOB, WHOM WB 
MUST GIVB ACOOUirT, ANB WHO MUST ALSO €HTB ACCOUNT OF 
Y0UB8ELYES, THE ONE THOUGHT THAT BISES IN THE MIND IS 
TH^ EARNEST DESIBE THAT YOU BE, NOT NOTHING, BUT 
SOMETHING; THAT YOU SHOULD GIVE YOUR ACCOUNT WITH 
JOY, AND NOT WITH GBIEF ; THAT YOU SHOULD BE, NOT 
ENEMIES OF GOD, NOB MUBMUBING SLATES, BUT HIS TBUB 
AND LOVING CHILDBEN, FOBGIVEN AND ACCEPTED IN JESUS 

OHBIST." — 2V. Arnold. 



SECTION 1. 

RESPONSIBILITY-WHAT IS \T% 

" O man, thou art a creature, boast not thyself above the law. 
Think not of thyself as free ; thou art bound in the trammels of 

dependence. 
What is the sum of thy duty, but obedience to righteous rule, 
To the great commanding oracle, uttered by delegated organs ? " 

— ^TUPPJER. 

Pbiti LEGES imply responsibilities, for to whom much is 
given, of them much will be required. There are few 
young people, however, who are fully conscious of this 
fact, or who, if conscious of it, bear it sufficiently in 
mind ; and hence many of them are thoughtless, trifling, 
and inconsiderate, as if they supposed themselves their 
own masters, and imagined that no one had any right to 
call them to account either for their actions or their 
words. Nor do they like to be reminded of the con^ 
trary, but will even resent the kindest and gentlest ad- 
monition, and, perhaps, tell the friend that utters it to 
mind his own business, and not theirs. It is difficult, 
therefore, to get the attention of some of our youth to 
a subject of this kind, either &om the pulpit or through 
the press, yet the task must be attempted, and we would 
fain hope that the youth addressed in these pages, and 
in whose hands this volume may be placed, will ponder 
seriously what we have to say to them on the subject of 
their responsibilities, momentous and important as they 
«re. ,. , - ; 



42 RESPONSIBIUTY ; WHAT 18 IT? 

What is meant by responsibility? is a question whicb 
may be answered in a few words. It is simply answerable* 
ness, or the state of one who is accountable for a trust, 
for an office, or for the use of a talent committed to his 
care. In such a state every intelligent creature is placed 
by the great Author of his being ; the very fact of his 
possessing intelligence rendering him accountable, to the 
extent of his knowledge and of his means of obtaining 
more. We do not look upon an infant as responsible, 
for, as yet, reason has not fully dawned upon its mind, so 
that it is not capable of judging between good and evil, 
or of \mderstanding the difference between right and 
wrong. It is, therefore, very foolish, and often 
very unkind, to be angry with an infant, because 
it cries. Its crying may be unpleasant to our ear; 
but it knows no better, and ought not, therefore, to be 
scolded, either by its parents or by any one else, 
especially as there is, doubtless, some cause for its crying, 
even when we are unable to discover what it is. And 
because an infant is not responsible, it is, in case of its 
dying, saved through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
and its happy spirit admitted into the realms of light and 
bliss there to expand in wisdom, there to increase in 
holiness, there to spend a blissful eternity in the society 
of angels and in the immediate presence of God. There 
are multitudes in heaven at this moment who yrere never 
held accountable whilst here on earth ; for their sojourn 
was too brief to allow their latent powers of thought and 
of reflection to burst forth. That little sister that you 
loved so dearly, whom you often rocked in her tiny 
cradle, and over whose sweet form you used to bend 
with all but ineffable delight, but whom you saw wither 
like a flower beneath the hand of death, laid in a coffin, 
and then committed to the dust, is now yonder, above 



INFANTS NOT EE8PON8IBLE. 43 

the stars,— yonder, among the shining ranks of the 
redeemed; for though she possessed a sinful nature, 
which, had she lived a few years, would soon have mani- 
fested itself in unholy passions and desires, yet, as she 
never committed actual transgression, the loving Saviour 
who had bought her with his blood, imparted to her, in 
some way unknown to us, his Holy Spirit, and made her 
meet for the inheritance of the holy ones. He just 
planted her in his earthly garden for a little time, and 
then, foreseeing perhaps that she would be exposed to 
the unfriendly blasts, took her away *' from the evil to 
come," and transplanted her in the more genial soil of 
paradise, where all her faculties will find room for their 
development and scope for their noblest and most ample 
exercise. We cannot, for a moment, doubt this with 
regard to any child dying in infancy ; for that infants are 
redeemed by the blood of Christ it were derogatory to 
his goodness to deny; and "who can say," asks one, 
"how early the first dawning rays, which precede the 
morning light of the spiritual day, enter into the infant 
soul?" An infant, though irresponsible, is certainly 
capable of receiving the Holy Spirit, and therefore of 
being regenerated by his grace, and though not because 
it is irresponsible, but rather because it is the purchase of 
the Bedeemer's blood, and has never committed actual 
transgression, its disembodied spirit is borne on angels' 
wings to the bosom of its Lord. 

At what age a child becomes responsible cannot 
perhaps be positively affirmed, for in the case of one pos- 
sessed of a superior mind and of higher advantages, the 
period will be earlier than in the case of one who is less 
favoured./ There are two stages of responsibility through 
which we have to pass, the one blending into the other, 
md, by degrees, becoming swallowed up in it — the stage 



44 KESPONSIBILITT— WHAT IS IT? 

of responsibility to our earthly parents, and the stage of 
responsibility to our Father who is in heaven. 

There is, first, the stage of responsibility to our 
earthly parents. Almost as soon as a child can walk it 
is answerable for its conduct to the mother that watches 
over it, and to the father by whose hand it is gently led. 
As yet it is incapable of knowing anything of the great 
invisible God ; but its parents stand to it in God's place,^ 
and whilst they are responsible to Him for the manner in 
which they nurture and instruct it, it is responsible to 
them for its actions and its words, and for the improve- 
inent it makes of the culture bestowed upon it. And 
somehow or other it is conscious of the fact. At a very 
early age, will a child understand the meaning of a 
single glance of its mother's eye, its little conscience 
answering to the look of kind reproof, and saying to it, 
" You have done something wrong." Do you not 
remember that when you were a very little child, just 
beginning to step across the floor, or just beginning to' 
utter a few words, how you sometimes displayed a 
passionate spirit, and how, when your mother uttered 
your name in that peculiar tone of voice which indicated 
that she was grieved with you, you blushed, and wept, 
and ran to her lap as if you could not bear to meet her 
eye ? You felt that she had a right to call you to account 
^or those displays of childish passion, and you stood at 
her bar as a condemned culprit, and could not be happy 
until she had given you the reconciling kiss. Now we 
want to impress this fact upon your minds, — that in 
childhood and in youth you are responsible to your 
parents, that you are bound to honour them, that it is 
your duty to submit to them, that the relationship in 
which they stand to you gives them a right to control 
tod guide you, and that, if they are Christian parents 



RESPONSIBILITY TO PARENTS. 45 

.'especially, it is incumbent upon you to take their word 
as the rule and guide of your life. The household is a 
little kingdom, upon the thrpne of which the father and 
the mother jointly sit, swaying the sceptre of rule in 
gentleness and love, for the mutual benefit of all the 
members of their family ; and 

" The house where the master ruleth, is strong in united subjection, 
And the only commandment with promise being honoured, is a bless- 
ing to that house." 

But there is a sad tendency in many young persons to 
claim a right to think, and judge, and act for themselves, 
to call in question parental authority, and to break away 
from the restraints imposed upon them, however mute and 
gentle they may be. Not a few of the children of pious 
parents do this openly and boldly, setting themselves up 
at home above all authority and rule, and proudly de- 
manding the lordship over themselves, as if they thought 
their father's authority an impertinence and their mother's 
request a wrong. We have known young men, forgetful 
of their responsibility to their parents, or unwilling to 
acknowledge it, and, finding that under their father's 
roof they could not act as they chose, forsaking that 
roof, like the prodigal in the parable, and betaking 
themselves to the society of the ungodly, where they 
have supposed they could pursue the indlinationS of 
their minds with all the freedom they could wish. But 
bitter has been the fruit of their folly, and sad the con- 
sequences of their sin. O listen to the voice of warnings 
and dare not, whilst you live beneath your parents' eye, 
and are dependent on their industry and care, to call in 
question their right to your obedience in everything that 
does not interfere with the claims of your conscience iu 
the sight of God ! 



46 RESPONSIBIUtT — WHAT IS IT? 

And such a sense of responsibility to parents should 
rest upon the minds of the young that they should be 
restrained from doing wrong, not only when seen, but 
also when not seen ; when their parents are from home^ 
or when they themselves are distant from their father's 
house. That was beautiful advice given by a' father to 
his son as he parted with him on his going to school : 
" You teU the truth, keep a brave and kind heart, and 
never listen to or say anything you wouldn't have your 
mother and sister to hear, and you'll never feel ashamed 
to come homej or we to see you." It is a good thing for 
a boy to possess such a regard for his parelits' authority, 
as, when no longer seen by them and when exposed to 
severe temptation, to say to himself, " If I commit this 
sin, I shall have to account for it,'' and to tremble at the 
thought of having to go into their presence with a con- 
science ill at ease. "You are a coward, Tom," said a 
number of boys to one of their companions because he 
would not go with them to take a bird's-nest. He would 
not go simply because his mother had forbidden him; 
but it was hard work, at the same time, to be called a 
coward. Was he, then, a coward ? No, but a true hero, 
for he could brook the insult of his playmates, but could 
not bear the thought of meeting his mother's eye with 
the consciousness of having disobeyed her commands. 
" She will never know it," said one of the boys ; but he 
considered that whether she ever knew it or not, God 
would know it and that the remembrance of it would 
cling to his own conscience; and therefore he did not 
entertain the temptation for a moment. 

It will, perhaps, be asked by some of our youthful 
readers, for what are we responsible to our parents? 
And how long will our responsibility to them last ? In 
answer to the first of these questions we do not hesitate 



BEING ASKED QUESTIONS. 47 

to say that you are responsible to them for all your 
actions and your words, — for your conduct at home and 
your conduct abroad, for the example you set before the 
younger members of the family, for the improvement 
you make of your various privileges, for the use or the 
abuse of all the favours conferred upon you. They have 
a right to call you to account for every foolish word you 
utter and for every sinful act which you commit; nor 
ought you to think that they take a step beyond their 
province, though day by day they exact of you some 
account of the manner in which it has been spent, the 
company with whom you have associated, and the recrea" 
tions in which you have engaged. It is a happy thing 
for the young when their parents, duly sensible of the 
position in which they stand to their children, feel bound 
to require of them an account of their conduct; for many 
are the sad instances in which children and young people 
having been allowed by their parents to take their own 
course, without being asked any qtcestionSf have at length 
become spendthrifts, prodigals, and outcasts of society. 
But there are many young people who do not like to be 
asked questions, even by those who stand to them in the 
liighest of all the relationships of earth, and who will 
even resent those questions as impertinent and out of 
place. " What has my father to do," asks the thought- 
less and giddy youth, " with the way in which I spend my 
money, or the manner in which I occupy my leisure 
hours, or the character of those with whom I associate 
when I am not at home ? " WTiat has he to do with it f 
Everything, young man; absolutely everything; and 
were he not to require of his son an account of such 
matters he would be an unkind and unfaithful father. 
A curse fell upon the house of Eli because his sons made 
themselves vile, and he restrained them not. Keprove 



48 RESPONSIBILITY— WHAT 18 IT ? 

them he did, but it was too gently, too sparingly, and 
hence the glory departed from his family. 

Is it asked how long does the responsibility of the 
young to their parents last? The reply we offer is, 
until they come to such an age as to be wholly inde- 
pendent of their parents' care, and wholly responsible to 
God Himself. Every young person is accountable to his 
parents as long as he remains under the parental roof; 
but his accountability to them does not, in every instance, 
cease when he leaves that roof; not, for instance, when 
he goes to school, nor when he becomes an apprentice to 
a trade ; for though he then becomes accountable also to 
the masters under whom he is placed, and is bound to 
obey them also, as his immediate guides, yet he is still 
answerable for his general conduct to his father and his 
mother who have delegated their office to others but 
in part. Hence at intervals he should write to them, 
with all candour and simplicity. He should not say 
to himself, " I am no longer under my father's govern- 
ment, and will therefore no longer submit to his con- 
trol;" but he should say, "My father has placed me 
here for my good and at considerable expense, and he 
has a right, therefore, to know what studies I am pur- 
suing and what improvement I am making. I will 
write and tell him, and will ask his counsel and his 
prayers." 

A youth's letters from school, if such as they ought 
to be, are always welcome to a parent's heart. With 
what interest they are read, first by one member of the 
family and then by another — handed by the father to 
the mother, and by the mother to each of the children 
who are at home, in turn, — smiled over, wept over, with 
emotions that cannot be described; and then answered 
in terms which only the fondest affection could dictate ! 



LETTERS FROM SCHOOL. 49! 

But the youth v/ho thinks, when he has left his home, that 
his responsibilities to his parents are at an end, will write 
no letters of a satisfactory character, and thus the sacred 
tie which should bind him to his truest friends will be 
in danger of being broken Uke the string of the far*^ 
stretched bow. 

It is not well, under any circumstances, for young 
people to try to get rid of their responsibilities to their 
earthly parents too soon. The period will come, and that 
quite soon enough, when their childhood and their 
youth will cease, and when, having arrived at honourable 
manhood, they will stand in a state of immediate respon* 
sibility to God, rather than to man ; but the tendency 
of young people of almost all classes in the present day 
is to shorten the period of youth, and to wish to become 
men and women before they have obtained the requisite 
wisdom and stability. "I should like to be my own 
master,^' is the inward saying of many a young man of 
from sixteen to eighteen years of age ; and he fancies 
that it is quite time for him to throw off all parental 
jrestraints, and to think, and judge, and act for himself. 
Let the youthful reader resist the insidious thought, and 
let him cultivate an humble, docile spirit, and be willing 
to be deemed a youth, or even a child, a little longer $ 
for now it is, especially, that he needs the restraints 
imposed on him by his earthly friends, and, were he 
to break away from them now, he would, in all pro- 
bability, become like the wild ass's colt, and would soon 
find that he would be unable to control the evil passions 
Vnd dispositions of his mind. Happy is that youth whose 
loving mother and whose prudent father are spared to 
him until he reaches the early years of manhood; and 
far from seeking to get rid of their authority, he should 

E 



60 EESPONSIBILITY — WHAT 18 IT? 

rejoice that they still live to sway their mild and gentle 
sceptre over the family of which he forms a part 

The second stage of responsibility is generally entered 
upon long before the first terminates, for the young 
become accountable to God as soon as they are capable 
of understanding anything respecting Him as their 
Creator, Benefactor, and Judge. At what age this may be 
we cannot with certainty decide ; for it will depend partly 
on the mental faculties, which unfold themselves earlier 
in some cases than in others, and partly on the ad- 
vantages of training and education. The child Samuel 
ministered before Eli the priest, and when the voice of 
God spake to him he ran to Eli, for as yet he knew not 
the Lord. And there is many a child to whom God 
speaks — speaks in the gentle whispers of his Spirit, who 
does not know that it is God who speaks. Gradually, 
however, in most instances, but in some, as in a moment, 
the truth reveals itself to the openingxmind, that there 
is a Being whom he cannot see, but who made 
the sun, and the stars, and the green earth, and the 
hills, and the streams, and the flowers of the field, 
and himsefff and that that Being's eye is ever over 
him, observing his conduct and taking notice of every- 
thing he does. How early does conscience begin 
to operate in the breast of a child who has been 
taught to pray! Yes, youthful reader, there is such 
a thing as conscience, and already you have often felt 
its secret power. You cannot see God, and even 
when you do wrong He does not appear to you, or 
reprove you by an audible voice ; but He has implanted 
in your nature that mysterious faculty, and it tells you, 
if nothing else does, that He exists, and tells you, more- 
over, that you are accountable, not only to your earthly 



POWEB OF CONSCIENCE. 51 

parents, but to Him, your Proprietor and God. Con- 
science has been called the God within us, — 

** that sole monarchy in man 
Which owes allegiance to no earthly prince ; 
Made by the edict of creation ftee ; 
Made sacred, made above all human laws, 
Holding of Heaven alone." 

Do you remember the day when you told the first lie ? 
What was it that made you so unhappy, — ^that caused 
your countenance to blush like crimson, — ^that prevented 
you from lying down to sleep in peace ? Not the mere 
sense of having grieved your parents, for even after you 
had made confession of your guilt, and they, so far as 
they could, had forgiven you the sin, you were still rest^ 
less, sorrowful, and sad. Yes; for you felt that there 
was a higher tribunal to which yoii were amenable, — 
that you had sinned against your Creator and your God, 
and that He was angry with you for having told that 
lie. It is this fact, — that such a faculty as conscience 
exists, and that it begins to operate in very early life, 
which proves the doctrine of responsibility to God, and 
which proves, moreover, that children and young people 
are responsible to Him, as well as to those under whose 
more immediate authority He has placed them. Their 
responsibilities to their earthly and their heavenly Father 
are, for a considerable time, coeval, and blend one into 
another. In the period of early childhood, and whilst 
yet they are incapable of understanding their relationship 
to God, they are responsible to their earthly parents ; 
but as soon as they arrive at years of reflection, and are 
better acquainted with the Being who created them, they 
become responsible to Him also ; yet, whilst their respon- 
sibilities to their earthly parents will one day terminate 
their responsibilities to God will run on for ever. 
E 2 



52 EESPONSIBILITY— WHAT 18 IT? 

That our young people should understand this is of 
vital importance to their highest interests. They are 
not their own, but the property of that God who made 
them, who endowed them with intelligence, and who 
placed them in circumstances so favourable and happy. 
Let them recognise the fact, and hold themselves answer- 
able to Him, and to their friends under Him, for the 
advantages they possess and the course of conduct they 
pursue. And we would further remind them that to 
God they are responsible for more than they are respon- 
sible to man ; for the opinions which they form, and even 
for the thoughts which they indulge; and that, whilst 
they may hide from man many sins that they commit, 
and so escape every earthly tribunal, from God they can 
hide nothing, — no secret act, no whispered word, no 
silent thought, — for that He is about their bed and about 
their path, and spieth out all their ways. Absolute 
solitude there is none, 

** Save what man makes, when in his selfish breast 
He locks his joy, and shuts out others' grief; " 

for even the desert speaks of the name of D^ity, and the 
wilderness utters forth His praise. " Can God see in the 
dark ? " asked a little boy whose conscience troubled him 
for having taken something which was not his own, but 
who had contrived to take it under cover of the night. 
The question itself conveyed its own answer, and indi- 
cated that in the child's own breast there was a voice that 
said, — " Thou God seest me ! " 

Nor must the young forget that the responsibilities 
they owe to God are more sacred than those they owe to 
any earthly friend, and must, therefore, be acknowledged 
first. It is not probable that the parents of those young 
people to whom these pages are specially addressed will 



OOD'S claims 8UPEBI0B. 93 

ever interfere with the claims of their children's con- 
sciences, and require them to do anything which they 
themselves cannot approve of. A pious father knows that 
he has no right to come between the conscience of his 
child and God ; and hence, though he may differ from his 
child in reference to ja point of duty, and therefore try 
to convince him that he is wrong, yet if that child is old 
enough to form a judgment for himself, such a father 
will not dare to impose his own authority in opposition 
to his child's convictions of what is right But, if the 
parents of any of our readers are not pious, and should 
ever require them to do what their consciences tell them 
is wrong in the sight of God, — ^to attend the theatre, for 
example, or to violate the Sabbath, they must remember 
that they are amenable to God rather than to man, and 
must be willing to suffer persecution, and even alienation, 
rather than transgress the laws of Heaven. ** You shall 
not pray here," said a wicked father to his son, who had 
become awakened to a sense of sin ; but the youth felt 
that he must pray, let the consequences be what they 
might He was banished from his father's house ; but it 
was, ere long to be invited back, and to see that father 
himself a penitent on his knees. 



SECTION II. 

RE8PON8IBILITYHT8 MEASURE AND EXTENT 



Lai^ly thoa girest, gradons Lord, 
Largely Thy gifts should be restor'd. 
Freely Thou givest, and Thy word 
Is ** Freely give."— Kxblx. 



The more a serrant is intrusted with, the larger is the 
account which he must render to his master. This 
principle is heautifuUy illustrated in one of our Lord's 
parables, recorded by St. Matthew, the lessons of which 
we should like to impress upon the minds of all our 
youth. In that parable a man is represented as about to 
take a journey into a far country, but, before he sets 
out, calling to him his servants and delivering to them 
his goods. To one he gives five talents, to another two, 
and to another one, to every man according to his 
several ability, and straightway takes his journey. For 
what purpose are these talents committed to them P Not 
to be wasted, not to be suffered to lie unemployed, but 
to be used to the very best advantage, so that when the 
master returns he may receive from his servants a good 
account, and bestow upon them a proportionate reward. 
That master is none other than the Lord Jesus 
Christ; the talents are the blessings of his grace and 
providence; the servants, to whom he has intrusted 
them, are his people, and, among others, the youthful 



THE THREE BOY0. 66 

readers of these pages. He has not given the same 
number of talents to all men, to all young people, to all 
the youth whom we are now addressing ; for, as we shall 
soon perceive if we look around us, there are some 
whose advantages, intellectual and moral, whose means 
of usefulness, and whose opportunities of doing good, 
are far greater and more numerous than those of others. 
In this Christian country at least, there are very few, if 
any, to whom no talent is given, whatever maybe the 
case with those who live in the wilds of heathenism; 
yet even here we find great diversity, not only of 
natural gifts, but of religious privileges, and that too 
amongst the young as well as amongst others. Here 
for example, is a boy living in a secluded village, whose 
parents are too poor to give him an education even if 
they were so disposed; and who, to earn his living^ 
must labour hard in the mill or in the field, six days out 
of seven, often, perhaps, with but little food, and often, 
perhaps, with but scanty clothing ; yet even he possesses 
one talent, one advantage, for there is in the village a 
well-taught Sabbath-school to which he has been taken 
by a friend, and where, if he is diligent, he may learn to 
read, and, -in part, to understand God's holy Word. 
But here is another boy who resides in the busy town, 
whose parents occupy a position in society of considerable 
respectability, and who is surrounded with means of im- 
provement intellectual, moral, and religious, of every 
kind. He possesses advantages to which the village 
boy is an entire stranger — superior day-school instruc- 
tion, all the ordinances of the Christian sanctuary, home- 
comforts, and the most genial companionship. And 
here is a third boy who moves in a still higher circle, 
whose friends are affluent yet truly pious, and for whom 
everything is dpne that can be, to train him in the paths 



56 BESPONSIBILITT^ITS MEA8UBE AND EXTENT. 

of virtue and to furnish him with a polite and liberal 
education. He lives amidst the elegances and arts of 
life, he has at his command the choicest productions of 
the press, the best instruction is given him in Christian 
knowledge, and he is protected from those evil influences 
which play around our youth in general and often 
counteract the better influences of which they are the 
subjects. 

Now the responsibilities of these three boys are neces- 
sarily very different both in their nature and amount. 
No one will expect the village boy to become an eminent 
scholar; no one would be satisfied with the boys, pos- 
sessed of superior advantages, were they to turn out 
dunces or fools. We are not surprised that a fruit-tree 
planted in the wilderness where it has but little moisture 
and is exposed to the burning sun, should, though it is 
a fruit-tree, produce but little fruit; but if we see a 
tree of 'the same description planted in a garden, care^ 
fully watered, screened from the fury of the blast, and 
cultured with the utmost pains, and yet producing little 
fruit, and that little of a very ordinary kind, we are 
both surprised and grieved, and are ready to say. Let it 
be cut down. And what we look for in the natural 
world-— fruit proportionate to the nature of the tree 
and the advantages it possesses of soil and climate ; we 
also look for in the world of mind, — less from those to 
whom little is given,«— more from those whose advantages 
are superior. 

Nor is it enough that he who possesses five talents 
should employ but three, or that he who possesses two 
should be prepared to account for only one. In the 
parable the servants are represented as appearing before 
their lord to give up their accounts, and he that had 
received five talents brings other five, he that had 



7MPB0YING THE TALENTS. 57 

received two brings other two; each having employed 
all the talents intrusted to him, and made them double* 
Hence their lord is satisfied, and says to each, **Well 
done, good and faithful servant,'' which he scarcely 
would have said had either of them brought a less satis- 
factory account. The one talent, too, must be employed, 
though it be but one. He who had received but one 
was condemned, — and condemned, not because he had 
wasted it, but because he had buried it and not used 
it. Nor could he excuse himself on the ground that 
it was but one. He was asked to account for one only ; 
but that one he was bound to account for, as righteously 
as he who had received five was bound to account for 
five. 

On the other hand, it is possible, especially for a 
youth, seeing that he has a long life before him, to 
make his one talent five or even ten; to improve the 
single advantage he possesses so diligently as to multiply 
it several times, and thus to shoot far ahead of those 
who, in the first instance, were considerably in advance 
of him. Many noble examples of this kind are on 
record. In the year 1362 was bom at Higham Ferrers 
a boy who was called Henry Chicheley, and whose em- 
ployment, as he grew up, was that of tending his father's 
sheep. He was, however, an intelligent lad, and, being 
taken under the patronage of WiUiam of Wykeham, 
rose by his industry and perseverance, step by step, until 
at length he became Archbishop of Canterbury. And 
you have heard, perhaps, of the modem missionary and 
traveller David Livingstone, whose name has recently 
become almost a household word. He was a poor 
Scotch lad, and had to work hard for his living in a 
mill; but he was studious, diligent, and prayerful, and. 



58 RESPONSIBILITY— ITS MtlASURE AND EXTENT. 

by his own efforts, he qualified himself for a sphere of 
usefulness which few were prepared to filL 

Let no one say, then, I have but one talent and can 
do nothing with it What should we think of the 
honey-bee refusing to build its cell and gather in the 
honey because it can do nothing else ; or of a dray-horse 
refusing to plough because it cannot contend in a 
race? But the inferior animals are often wiser than 
men, for they are willing to do what nature teaches them, 
and are usefid according to the abilities they possess. 
We may learn many a lesson irom them, and this among 
the rest, not to despise the meanest gifts, but to use them 
as best we may and can. 

But most of the youth of Methodism possess, as we 
have seen, many privileges — many talents; and hence 
their responsibilities are both numerous and weighty. 
The day will come when their Lord and Master will 
require at their hands an account of their home advan- 
tages, their school privileges, and their sanctuary bless- 
ings, and will ask them how the talents He intrusted to 
their care were employed. What has He a right to 
expect from them ? What have their friends a right to 
expect ? What has the Church a right to expect ? No 
more than from those children who, alas! are taught 
from their infancy to swear and steal, and of whom there 
are thousands in the cities of our own land ? No more 
than from heathen children who never hear of the Saviour 
of the world, never see a Christian book, never look upon 
a Sabbath sun P Assuredly not. Their responsibilities, 
compared with yours, are very light, sad and pitiable 
though their case may be. There may be seen every day 
in some of the streets of the City of London numbers of 
young people living in the deepest wretchedness, addicted 



HEATHEN CHILDREN. 69 

to all kinds of vice, frequenting the gin^palaces, and 
openly violating the laws of God without reproof or 
check; and we ourselves have witnessed, in a distant 
part of the world, thousands wrapped in utter ignorance, 
upon whose minds no ray of light from the Sun of 
Bighteousness has ever shone, and in whose ears no 
word of kind instruction has been heard. These heathen 
children, both of London and of Africa, are creatures of 
God, are possessed of an immortal nature, and will one 
day have to stand before the bar of the eternal Judge ; 
but look at their position in comparison with yours! 
We can conceive one of the former standing before the 
Judge and saying, *' I was the child of godless parents i 
I was taught from my infancy to curse and swear; I was 
never taken to a Christian school ; I was never led to the 
house of God ; I lived in a Christian land, but I knew 
nothing of Christianity, for I was not taught to read or 
pray, or even to lisp the name of Christ, and though I 
confess that I often heard a voice within my breast telling 
me that I was wicked, and calling on me to repent, yet I 
scarcely knew what it was, and amidst the society in 
which I moved that voice was silenced, and became less 
and less distinct." And we can conceive an African or 
an Indian child standing before that Judge and saying, 
'* I was bom in a land of heathenism, where false gods 
were worshipped, cruel rites observed, and idol temples 
reared ; and my parents took me to the festivals of their 
deities, where I witnessed the most revolting scenes, and 
heard the most fearful sounds ; but I knew not that these 
things were wrong, for the missionary of the cross never 
reached my dwelling, nor was a Christian school ever 
established within my reach. I used sometimes to ask. 
Who is the true God ? Is there another state of being ? 
What will become of me when I die ? But all around 



60 BESPONSIBILITT— ITS MEASURE AND EXTENT. 

me were as ignorant as myself, and I could obtain no 
answer to any of these questions." And, again, we can 
conceive of a Christian child — a child favoured with 
privileges such as yours, in the presence of that Judge, 
called to give up his account; and, supposing him to 
have been neglectful of his privileges, compelled to 
say, *' I was taught by a kind mother to bow my knees 
in prayer ; I was led at a very early age to the Sabbath- 
school, and to the house of God ; I learnt to read God's 
holy Word and to sing the hymns and songs of Sion ; I 
often listened to the Christian minister, and his appeals 
to my conscience made me tremble on my seat ; I had 
frequent invitations to join the Christian Church, and 
there was a door of honourable usefulness open to my 
view; but all these talents I undervalued, all these 
advantages I misimproved. I wasted my early da^s in 
pleasure and in sin; I neglected the improvement of my 
mind ; I spumed from me the advice of friends ; I was 
self-willed and obstinate, and was resolved to pursue my 
own course." Oh, will not the condemnation of that 
Christian child be far greater, think you, than that of 
either of those heathen children whose cases we have 
here supposed ? What God will say to them we know 
not ; but terrible will be the frown that will light on him, 
and fearful the doom he will hear pronounced. His 
responsibilities being so much greater than theirs, the 
guilt which will attach itself to him will be of untold 
magnitude, and his punishment, like Cain's, greater than 
he can bear. 

It is this one fact, that their responsibilities are pro- 
portionate to their privileges, which we are solicitous to 
impress on the minds of our young friends. Bighteous 
and equitable are all God's ways. He is not a hard 
master, as some would represent Himi reaping where 



THE CHRISTIAN CHILD'S ACCOUNT. 61 

He has not sowed, and gathering where He has not 
strawed ; but where He has sowed He expects to reap, 
where He has strawed He expects to gather. Just as 
the husbandman who, with considerable pains, has pre- 
pared his field for the reception of the seed, and after- 
wards sown it with a liberal hand, looks in due time for 
a corresponding harvest ; so, wherever God has scattered 
the blessings of his providence and grace. He expects an 
equivalent return, and only then will He say to his 
servants, " Well done," and give to them a full reward. 
Oh, happy is that youth who, being favoured with the 
blessings of a Christian home and a Christian education, 
looks upon his privileges as so many talents committed 
to his trust by his Father who is in heaven, and there- 
fore applies himself assiduously to the task of improving 
them to the utmost of his power ! For on all his efforts, 
fe.eble though they often are. Heaven will ever smile, and 
the more so if he has to contend with difficulties and 
discouragements, but manfully resolves to grapple with 
them all. Every talent he improves increases his abili- 
ties, and multiplies his means. Though he begins with 
one, he will soon have two, and the two will become five, 
and the five ten; nor can we assign any limit to the 
attainments he will realize, or the stores of knowledge he 
will one day gain. We would have each reader to ask 
himself, " With how many talents has God intrusted me ? 
What are my advantages — my privileges — my respon- 
sibilities?" and whether he has one, or two, or five, we 
would have him set to work with a brave heart and a 
persevering spirit to use and to increase them; and 
though it may appear to him for a while as if he were 
working in a mine, down which not a ray of light can 
reach him, yet, ere long, he will rise higher and yet 
higher, until the mine is left behind, and he begins to 



62 » RESPONSIBILITY— ITS MEASURE AND EXTENT. 

build in the full light of day, a superstructure which will 
go on increasing until his work is done. 

There is no greater incentive to effort than a deep 
sense of our responsibilities to God, and of the extent of 
our responsibilities in proportion to our privileges. When 
all other motives to diligence fail, this will be found, if in 
active operation, sufficient to carry us through every 
difficulty. And which of our readers cannot comprehend 
it? Which of them is so ignorant as not to understand 
the force of our remarks ? There are few, we believe, of 
the youth of Methodism on whose minds these lessons 
have not been previously enforced, and fewer still who 
when they are set before them, are unable to appreciate 
them and to admit their truth. 

But to aid them yet further, we shall attempt to point 
out in the following section how their responsibilities 
may be met, — how their talents may be best improved. 



SECTION m. 

RESPONSIBILITIES-HOW TO MEET THEM. 



** The glorious privilege to do 

Is man's most noble dower. 
Oh I to your birthright and yourselves, 

To your own souls be true : 
A weary, wretched life is theirs 

Who have no work to do." — C. . Okmx. 



Among the beautiful parables of Krummacher is the 
following :— 

** A father had three sons, with whom he lived on a 
large island. He always provided for them and for their 
children, that they never suffered want. But when he 
felt his end drawing nigh, he called his sons and said to 
them, * I must leave you now, for the hour of my de- 
parture is come; now you must provide for your own 
wants, as I have provided for you hitheito. You may no 
more remain together, — you must go forth to the east, to 
the west, and to the south ; but each of you take these 
grains of seed, and keep them carefully. And when I 
shall be no more with you, choose a piece of ground, and 
plough the land, that it may be fit to receive sunshine 
and rain. When you have done this, sow the seeds and 
cover them with earth ; then you will reap fruit in abund- 
ance for your sustenance and enjoyment. Watch and 
guard the field well, that the wild beasts may not enter 
and destroy it.' 



64 KE8PON8IBILITIE8 — HOW TO MEET THEM. 

** After the father had spoken thus, he died, and they 
buried him. 

" Then the sons separated, and went, as their father 
had commanded them, to different parts of the island, 
taking the seed with them. 

" When the eldest son arrived at the part allotted to 
him, he took the seed which his father had given him, 
and said, * Why should I do this wrong to the earth, and 
labour to pierce her breast with the iron of the plough ? 
The sun will not fail to warm, and the rain to moisten 
her, that she may bring forth fruit' Then he strewed 
the seed on the hard ground ; but it did not grow, nor 
yield any fruit. So the eldest son was wroth, and forgot 
the gift of his father. 

** The second son went towards the south. When he 
arrived at the place where he should dwell, he saw that 
it was a very pleasant place, and he said in his heart, 
* Why should I take the trouble to till the ground, so 
long as the land yields of itself provision in abundance ?' 
And he threw the seed aside and left it After he had 
consumed the fruit of the land he sowed the seed of his 
father; but it grew not, for the worms had gnawed it, 
and he sowed nothing but the husks. Then he scorned 
the gift of his father, and forgot it. 

" But the youngest son did as his father had com- 
manded him. He chose the best ground, manured and 
dug it with great care, made a fence all round, and sowed 
the seed. Then the seed put forth blades, and grew, and 
yielded fruit, sixty fold and an hundred fold. This he 
did for several successive years, and his fields increased 
in number, and the harvests were more and more plenti- 
ful; and he and his children and grandchildren had 
abundance. 

" After some years, when the elder brothers were in 



A PARABLE. 65 

want and poyerty, and heard of the riches of their younger 
brother, they went to him, and saw the fields round about 
covered with rich ears and sheaves ; and they heard the 
m^rry shouts of the reapers in the fields, for it was the 
time of harvest. 

" Then the brothers were astonished, and said to each 
other, * We have done wrong in despising the gift of our 
father.'" 

This story is suggestive of several lessons, some of 
which will teach us how to employ our talents, and thus 
to meet our solemn responsibilities. Precious seed has 
been entrusted to our care, not that we may waste it, not 
that we may suffer it to be destroyed, but that we may 
make the most of it ; and whilst enjoying the fruit of our 
labours ourselves, be prepared to give a satisfactory 
account to our Father who is in heaven, and who has 
entrusted us with the seed. The father of these young 
men died, and could not, therefore, inquire of them what 
they had done with the seed ; but our Father — our Father 
who is in heaven — Olives, and, as we have already seen. 
He holds us responsible for His gifts, and will require us 
to give an account of our stewardship. 

We must learn to value the gifts bestowed on us. The 
two sons despised the gift of their father, saying to 
themselves, as we may suppose, <*He has only given us a 
few grains of seed ; " and one threw the gift away, whilst 
the other allowed it to be e^ten by the worms. Only a 
few grains of seed! But in those few grains of seed 
what treasures were contained ! what blessings were in- 
cluded, when, as in the case of the younger son, they 
were properly employed! He reaped a plentiful harvest 
from them the first year in which they were sown, and 
in subsequent years his stores increased abundantly, so 
that he had more than enough to supply all his children 
F 



66 KESPON8IBILITIE8— HOW TO MEET THEM. 

with food. Never despise your privileges or blessings, 
be they apparently ever so small. The youth who says, 
I have only such-and-such things entrusted to my care, 
and who, because they are no more, squanders them 
away or misemploys them, is in the high road to certain 
ruin, and will no more be able to meet his responsibilities 
than the most wasteful prodigal or the most thoughtless 
spendthrift. And yet we often see young people acting 
in this way. Divine Providence has bestowed upon them 
certain privileges, — a Christian home, and the means of 
obtaining religious instruction in a day or Sabbath- 
school ; but because their home is not an affluent one, or 
because they have not the means of going to a college, 
they despise their advantages and neglect to improve 
them. " Only a mother's prayers ! only a father's kind 
advice! only the opportunity of attending a Sunday- 
school ! " The youth who will say this, or who under- 
values any of the privileges with which he is favoured, 
will soon be disposed to trifle with them and abuse them; 
and then, instead of being prepared to render up a good 
account, he will stand condemned by his own conscience 
as well as by the law of God. Let the youthful reader 
despise nothing, — not a single blessing he enjoys, — not a 
single privilege with which he is favoured. Let him not 
despise one word of kind instruction, of solemn warning, 
or of faithful admonition. Let him not despise the 
Sabbath or the sanctuary, the Book of God, or any 
portion of it. These are the talents committed to his 
trust, and every one of them is like a seed, in which, 
small as it is, there is the germ of an incalculable amount 
of good. The world is made up of little things, and on 
a due regard to them the highest interests of men very 
frequently depend. Observe that noble barque tossed 
upon the mountain wave. She is near the coast, and her 



THE SOIL MUST BE CULTIVATED. 67 

captain is afraid of being dashed upon the rocks. But 
he sees in the distance a speck of light, darting through 
the gloom of the surrounding night. What says he P 
Does he say it is too small to be worth notice ? No j he 
observes it carefully, and, ere long, it proves to be the 
friendly lighthouse, erected for the very purpose of giving 
warning to the voyager, and of teaching him how to steer 
his vessel, so as to avoid the land. Observe that miner. 
He is going down into the mine,^many fathoms below the 
surface of the earth ; and there is given to him a safety- 
lamp, which he is told he must take with him. Does he 
look at it with contempt, and ask of what use can so small 
a lamp as that be to me ? No ; he knows that down in 
the mine there is inflammable air, and that, small as that 
lamp IB, and feeble as is its light, it is the only one that 
he can take to aid him in his work, without any danger 
of a fatal explosion. Were the mariner to despise the 
lighthouse, because it sheds such a feeble light, he 
would run his vessel on the rocks j and were the miner 
to despise his lamp, because it is so small and its light 
so dim, he would expose himself to the peril of almost 
instant death. And a thousand other illustrations might 
be given of the principle we have named, that momentous 
interest hangs on little things, and that from little things 
momentous benefits may flow. 

" He that contemneth small things," says an apo- 
cryphal writer, " shall fall by little and little." Despise 
not, then, the least of your privileges ; neglect not 
to improve the smallest of your blessings. If you learn 
to value little things you will soon obtain greater, for 
you will learn to discharge your responsibilities both to 
man and God, and your labour will bring with it its own 
reward. 

We must not depend upon the ^pontaneoiLsness of the 
F 2 



68 EE8PON8IBILITIES— HOW TO MEET THEM. 

soil. The eldest son, in the above parable, strewed his 
seed on the hard ground, thinking it unnecessary to use 
the plough ; and the second son did not sow his seed at 
all, because he fancied the ground would yield abundance 
of itself ! How foolish was their conduct ! The very 
best soil needs to be sown with good seed, if we would 
render it really productive ; and, before it is sown, it 
needs to be prepared for the reception of the seed, — to 
be broken up by the ploughshare and the harrow, — ^that 
the seed may take root, and not perish. But there are 
many who act a similar part to these two youths. Their 
own minds are given them to cultivate, and they are 
entrusted with the precious seeds of truth to deposit in 
those minds. But they fancy themselves possessed of 
natural genius, and they think that their minds are of 
such a superior order that they will bring forth abundant 
fruit of themselves, or at least that the ordinary circum- 
stances of life will be quite sufficient to develop the 
faculties they possess, without the trouble of reading and 
of study. What is the result P They grow up in ignor- 
ance, and when, ere long, they find out their error, if, 
indeed, they do find it out, it is too late to correct the 
evil, for their minds have become like the trodden-down 
pathway, which the seed will not enter, or occupied 
with weeds and briars, among which it will not grow. 

Spontaneous enough are the minds of many, but it is 
of noxious weeds which spring up in such abundance 
that, if not checked and rooted up, will take the entire 
possession of the soil, leaving no room for the growth of 
what is good. Even if a youth has genius equal to that 
of a Byron or an Edgar Allan Poe, it needs cultivation, 
or otherwise it will run wild with deadly plants which 
will entwine themselves around its noblest powers, and 
prevent their growth. The instances are very few 



GENIUS AND TALENT. 69 

in which genius left to itself has produced good and 
lasting fruit; but they are many in which it has 
produced fruit more poisonous than the nightshade. 
The writings, for example, of some men of genius, 
whose minds, in early youth, were either wholly unculti- 
vated, or, what is still worse, were trained in error, will 
be productive of mischief to mankind, as long as a copy 
of them exists. Who can calculate the amount of evil 
that one only of the works of Byron we might name, 
full as it is of the fire of genius, has been the means of 
originating in the human mind P Genius ! It is a noble 
faculty ; it is a wondrous power ; but, in instances in- 
numerable, it has either run to waste or has been 
prostituted to purposes the most dishonourable. 

But genius is a rare thing, after all, and many who 
think they possess it, and whose friends, too, think they 
possess it, are mistaken. Talent, perhaps, they do possess, 
which, if carefully cultivated, will prove more valuable 
than mines of wealth ; but genius they do not The two 
things are very different. " Genius is originality in in- 
tellectual construction ; talent is the faculty of employing 
what has been furnished by others.** * The former is 
bestowed on comparatively few, the latter is conferred on 
very many. Yet foolish parents often say of children 
who, in early life, display retentiveness of memory or 
aptitude of thought, " Here are signs of genius ; we must 
be careful what we do, lest we should check its develop- 
ment and growth!** And they think, and lead their 
children to think, that their minds will expand with but 
little cultivation ; and hence the work of ploughing up 
the fallow ground and casting in the seed, is all but let 
alone. But even if a chUd is endowed with this high 

* CJoleridge in " Th« Friend." 



70 EE8P0NSIBILITIES— HOW TO MEET THEM. 

faculty, neither his intellectual nor his moral training 
ought to he neglected ; and if it should turn out that, 
though quick, and thoughtful, and somewhat clever, 
genius is wanting, after all, there is the greater need of 
the utmost care and diligence in the culture of his mind, 
and the work of sowing in it the seeds of truth can only 
be neglected at the utmost peril. 

We believe that many a youth has failed to dis- 
charge his solemn responsibilities, in consequence of the 
error of which we now speak. He has fancied himself 
in possession of a superior mind, which needed little 
or no culture, and he has allowed the precious seed 
which he ought to have received into it to lie disre- 
garded, or to be used by others ; and, when the 
time has come for gathering in the fruits, and 
presenting his account to God, he has had nothing 
to produce but thorns, and briars, and noxious weeds. 
How many students in our academies and colleges are 
in danger here ! In the pride of their hearts they think 
themselves so much superior in natural endowments 
to many who surround them, that, though it may be 
needful for their compeers to ply the daily task, and bum 
the midnight lamp, they need not Ho it, for know- 
ledge is almost intuitive to them, and with very little 
pains they will soon rise to eminence, and outshine 
all others. But ah ! the old fable of the tortoise and 
the hare meets with its moral here; for just as the hare, 
though swift, was left behind, because, depending on her 
superior powers, she slept, so these students find them- 
selves left far behind by some whom they considered, 
and who perhaps were, their inferiors in mental power. 

Let our youth then guard against this error, and let 
none of them suppose that they are possessed of minds 
which need no culture, and which wiU bring forth of 



THE ANT. 71 

themselves valuable and wholesome fruit. ^Even the mind 
of the. illustrious Sir Isaac Newton, who has been pro- 
nounced the greatest genius the world ever saw, needed 
cultivation, and only when it received the seeds of truth 
did its latent powers burst forth. 

We must he ever watchful against the spirit of indo^ 
lence. The second of the two sons, in the parable we 
have quoted, would not give himself the trouble to till 
the ground, and this is the secret of the neglect of the 
talents with which they are entrusted in the case of 
many ; they are too indolent to cultivate their minds, too 
slothful to make proper use of their gifts, and hence 
their responsibilities are forgotten until it becomes too 
late to discharge them. 

Few young people are naturally industrious. Here 
and there we meet with a youth who from his childhood 
loved to be employed in some way ; but in the majority 
of instances the young are pre-disposed to idleness, and 
do not like to give themselves any trouble. Very dif- 
ferent are they from the insect of which Watts has sung 
so sweetly — the busy bee, who flits from flower to flower, 
the live-long day, gathering the honey with which to 
store her nest; and very different from another insect to 
which Solomon sends the sluggard that he may consider 
her ways and be wise. What are her ways — the ways of 
the tiny ant ? " Having no guide, overseer, or ruler," yet 
'* she provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth 
her food in the harvest." Some species of ants build 
habitations so large that they appear in the distance like 
sheep, but which are hillocks of earth, and which, in 
Africa and elsewhere, are spread over the plains in vast 
numbers. These, it is said, they store with food, and 
naturalists tell us that they axe divided into rooms and 
compartments, which some of the inhabitants guard 



72 KESPONSIBIUTIES— HOW TO MEET THEM. 

whilst others travel in search of provisions. These little 
creatures also form roads along which they pass and 
repass, and in their journeys they travel in companies, 
climbing over walls, crossing rivers, and performing 
some of the most wondrous feats. A single ant will 
often drag to a considerable distance a piece of straw, or 
an insect much bigger than itself; or if it should prove 
too large for its strength will fetch another ant to assist 
it. The perseverance of this little creature is equally 
astonishing, so that on one occasion it led to very im- 
portant results, which affected a large portion of this 
habitable globe ; for the celebrated conqueror, Timour, 
being once forced to take shelter from his enemies in a 
ruined building, where he sat alone many hours, and being 
desirous of diverting his mind from his hopeless condition, 
fixed his observation upon an ant that was carrying a 
grain of corn,, larger than itself, up a high wall. Num- 
bering the efforts that it made to accomplish this object, 
he found that the grain fell sixty-nine times to the 
ground, but the seventieth time it reached the top of the 
wall. " This sight," said Timour, *^ gave me courage at 
the moment, and I have never forgotten the lesson it 
conveyed.** 

Well, then, might Solomon, who had perhaps care- 
fully observed the habit of these insects, send the slug- 
gard to their school, and well would it be if those young 
people who are disposed to indolence would take Solo- 
mon's advice, and study in that school until they are 
ashamed of themselves. Will any of our readers be out- 
done in industry by a little creature that they can tread 
to dust, and a thousand of which will lie in an infant's 
hand P Most assuredly the indolent do not meet their 
responsibilities, and hence the servant, in our Lord's 
parable, who buried his talent, was charged with this 



THE PAST lEBECOVERABLE. 73 

fault — that he was " a wicked and slothful servant ; " and 
his talent was taken from him and given to another. ** I 
went hy the vineyard of the slothful," says Solomon, 
" and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding ; 
and, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had 
covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was 
broken down. Then I saw and considered it well: I 
looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little 
sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to 
sleep ; so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, 
and thy want as an armed man." (Pro v. xxiv. 30—34.) 
A true picture this, which may be seen almost every day. 
Many of our youth are, we fear, allowing the vineyard 
of their minds to lie neglected and to be overrun with 
thorns and nettles, instead of planting there " rich seeds 
to blossom in their manhood and bear fruit when they 
are old." How will they be prepared either for positions 
of usefulness in after life, or for the reckoning day, which 
all must meet P The misspent past can never be recalled. 
" Life is like a transition from class to class in a school. 
The schoolboy who has not learnt arithmetic in the 
earlier classes cannot secure it when he comes to mechanics 
in the higher ; each section has its own sufficient work. 
He may be a good philosopher, or a good historian ; but 
a bad arithmetician he remains for life; for he cannot 
lay the foundation when he must be building the super- 
structure.'' So says one from whom we before quoted ; 
and very solemn is the fact which he affirms, that 
" Youth has its irreparable past." The days you are 
now living you can never live over again, and hence if 
you trifle, if you slumber, if you while-away time in 
foolish pleasure, it will glide away from you like the 
streamlet at your feet, and in a future day you will 
regret the loss of it in vain. 



74 KE8P0NSIBILITIES — ^HOW TO MEET THEM. 

We should like our young readers to imitate the 
conduct of the third son in the parable, who chose the 
best ground, manured and dug it, made a fence all round, 
and sowed the seed. We should like them, in other 
words, to be thoughtful, industrious, and persevering ; 
for by these means only will they be able to meet their 
responsibilities and to render up to God a satisfactory 
account. Now then, — now ; in the bloom of youtli and 
in the vigour of your days begin to work, for 

" So should we live, that every hour 
May die, as dies the natural flower,— 
A self-reviving thing of power ; 
That every thought and every deed 
May hold within itself the seed 
Of future good and future meed ; 
Esteeming sorrow, whose employ 
Is to develop, not destroy. 
Far better than a barren joy." 



HELM'S VMIB ^IBinmiDo 

€)^ Mm rf tin 'gnntji nf :^ttlmJii0ra. 



" IT IS GOD HIMSELF THAT HAS PLACED V& OK THE 
EABTH, AND IT IS HE WHO WILLS THAT ALL OTTB THOUGHTS 
SHOULD BE IK HEAYEK. IT IS OOD WHO HAS PLACED 
US, BY OUB BODIES, OUB WAKTS, OUB PACULTIE8, IK A 
CLOSE AND KECESSABY BELATIOK WITH THE WOBLD ; YET 
IT IS HE WHO WISHES TO BIKD OUB HEABTS TO ETEBKITY 
BY IKDESTBUCTIBLE TIES. IT IS HE WHO ADMITS OF KO 
DIVISION, KO COMFBOMISE, AND PBOPOSES TO US THE 
CHOICE BETWEEK HEAYEK AND EABTH, AS A CHOICE 
BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH." — A, Vinet, 



SECTION I. 

PERSONAL RELIGION. 



" Te hearts with youthful vigour warm 

In tmiling crowds draw near, 
And turn firom every mortal charm 

A Saviour's voice to hear. 
He, Lord of all the world on high. 

Stoops to converse with you ; 
And lays his radiant glories by, 

Tour friendship to pursue." — Doddkidgs. 

It is quite possible to possess the highest religious 
privileges and to be laid under the most solemn religious 
obligations, and yet to be negligent of religious duties, 
and strangers, experimentally, to religious enjoyments. 
Piety is not hereditary. The children of God's people 
come into the world with a depraved nature, and, not- 
withstanding all the efforts which are made to rectify 
it, that depraved nature frequently becomes still more 
depraved as months and years roll on. Many are 
the sad instances on record of young people who were 
surrounded in their childhood with the most healthful 
influences, with the atmosphere of prayer and the light 
of truth, with the warmth of parental affection and the 
drawings of the Spirit of God, who have, nevertheless, 
become thoughtless, profligate, and wicked, and, perhaps, 
brought down the grey hairs of a father or a mother 
with sorrow to the grave. 



78 PERSONAL RELIGION. 

Of this fact, the following sad and affecting story, 
from the Autobiography of the Rev. W. Jay, furnishes 
a painful illustration: — "A fine youth, the son of a 
Christian minister,'* says Mr. Jay, "became acquainted 
"with some sceptical, or, as by a patent of their own 
creation they call themselves, free-thinking young men, 
gave up the Sabbath, forsook the house of God which 
his father had built, abandoned the minister to whom 
he had been greatly attached, and boldly * left off to be 
wise and do good.' But as his fall was rapid so his new 
course was short. Swimming on a Sunday for amuse- 
ment and experiment he caught a chill which brought 
on a consumption. This for months gave him warning 
and space for repentance, but it is to be feared the grace 
of God was in vain. During his gradual decline he 
refused all intercourse with pious friends and ministers, 
and when his good nurse entreated him to call me in, 
as I lived close by and there had been such an intimacy 
between us, he frowned and rebuked her, and ordered 
her to mind her own business. On the last day of his 
life, unasked, I ventured into his dying chamber. He 
was sensible, but exclaimed, *0 Voltaire! Voltaire!' 
He then raised himself up in the bed, and wringing his 
hands, again exclaimed, * Oh, that young man ! Oh, that 
young man ! ' I said, * My dear Sir, what young man ? ' 
With a countenance indescribable, he answered, * I will 
not tell you.' He suddenly expired." 

Wonder not, then, youthful reader, that we address 
you on the subject of personal religion. We place it 
first among the duties which we would urge on your 
Attention, because it stands at the threshold and demands 
your immediate consideration. To secure and to practise 
it, is, in fact, the one great business of your life. 

TFTuit is personal religion f .Let us trace it up to its 



EEPENTAKCE. 79 

source, and observe it in its rise and progress. It is some- 
what like a river, the springs of which are hidden in the 
mountains, and which, though small and feeble at the first, 
gradually swells into a beautiful and flowing tide ; and 
which, though it experiences a few windings, meets with 
a few hindrances, and rolls over a few shallows, still pur- 
sues its way until it reaehes the mighty sea. Personal 
religion owes its origin in every instance to the grace of 
God illuminating the mind, awakening the conscience, and 
exciting the sinner to penitence and prayer. And how 
early, in many cases, does the Holy Spirit begin to move 
upon the heart! how soon, after reason dawns on the 
understanding, does the gentle dew descend upon the 
soul, and the sun's bright beams animate the breast 5 
" I cannot tell when the Spirit first began to strive with 
me," we have heard many a Christian remark ; and can 
you, dear reader, say when the light of grace first shone 
upon your youthful mind ? No ; it was so very early, 
that you could not comprehend it. You heard, as it 
were, a voice speaking to you in the silence of the night, 
but you knew not what it was ; and perhaps with a full 
heart, you went to your dear mother, who had taught 
you to pray to God, and said, << O I am a sinner, and I 
am afraid to die : do pray for me that my sins may be 
forgiven." Have you cherished those gracious feelings ? 
" No man can come unto me," said Jesus Christ, " except 
the Father which hath sent me draw him j *' these were 
the drawings of the Father — ^have you yielded to them 
or resisted them ? — given yourself up to them, or repelled 
them from your breast ? 

It is very important to consider this question, for we 
fear that there are some young people who entertain a 
notion that because they are the children of pious parents 
their conversion is sure to take place some time, and that, 



80 PEBSONAL BEUOION. 

therefore, they need not give themselves much anxiety 
about it. But oh ! if you never yield to the drawings of 
the Spirit, it tDtU not take place. Though many prayers 
may be offered on your behalf — sprayers mingled with 
tears — sprayers which God would delight to answer ; yet 
if you grieve and vex the Holy Spirit, who, partly on 
account of those prayers, awakens in your breasts gracious 
feelings and good desires, you will never be admitted 
into the family of God, nor be made happy in the enjoy- 
ment of his smile and favour. 

Do you ask, then. What shall we do ? Our answer is 
first, repent of sin and break off all your follies and 
transgressions. Repentance is not religion, nor, strictly 
speaking, a part of religion ; but it is an essential step 
towards the attainment of it, and it is therefore enjoined 
on every one who would flee from the wrath to come. 
Perhaps you have not been guilty of gross and open 
violations of God*s law ; perhaps the influence of parental 
example, and of your early religious training, has, in 
connexion with restraining grace, kept you back from 
many of the sins to which young people are frequently 
addicted ; yet if you look into your own breast you will 
find, in the evil tempers and dispositions which you 
have indulged, cause sufficient for deep sorrow before 
God ; and perhaps a narrow inspection of your compara- 
tively short life will also reveal to you many acts of 
wilful transgression of the Divine law. These you must 
confess ; on account of these you must mourn ; for these 
you must be deeply humbled at the throne of grace. 
And if you have done evil you must cease to do it. 
Youthful lusts must be crucified ; wicked practices must 
be shunned; ungodly companions must be forsaken. 
You must be willing to abandon all sin and to give your- 
selves up to God without the least reserve. You must 



THE penitent's PRAYER. 81 

come to th^ footstool of Divine mercy with some such 
prayer as that which is put into the lips of the penitent 
in Doddridge's " Kise and Progress of Religion in the 
Soul." " O God ! thou injured Sovereign ! thou all pene- 
trating and Almighty Judge! what shall I say to this 
charge ? Shall I pretend I am wronged hy it, and stand 
on the defence in thy presence ? I dare not do it ; for 
* thou knowest my foolishness, and none of my sins are 
hid from thee.' My conscience tells me that a denial of 
my crimes would only increase them, and add new fuel 
to the fire of thy deserved wrath. * If I justify myself, 
mine own mouth will condemn me ; if I say I am perfect, 
it will also prove me perverse.* * For innumerable evils 
have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken 
hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up : they 
are (as I have been told in thy Worfi) more than the 
hairs of my head, and therefore my heart faileth me.' I 
am more guilty than it is possible for another to declare 
or represent. My heart speaks more than any other 
accuser. 'And thou, O Lord, art much greater than 
my heart, and knowest all things.' And how am I 
astonished that thy forbearance is still continued! 
It is < because thou art God, and not man.' Had I, 
a sinful worm, been thus injured, I could not have 
endured it. Had I been a prince, I had long since done 
justice on any rebel, whose crimes had borne but a 
distant resemblance to mine. Had I been a parent, I 
had long since cast off the ungrateful child who had 
made such return as I have all my life long been making 
to thee, O thou Father of my spirit. Why, then, O Lord, 
am I not * cast out from thy presence ' ? Why am I not 
sealed up under an irreversible sentence of destruction ? 
That I live, I owe to thine indulgence. But oh ! if there 
be yet any way of deliverance, if there be yet any hope 
O 



82 PEBSONAL BELIGION. 

for 80 guilty a creature, may it be opened upon me by 
thy Gospel and thy grace ! And if any further alarm, 
humiliation, or terror, be necessary to my security and 
salvation, may I meet them, and bear them all ! Wound 
my heart, O Lord, so that thou wilt afterwards heal it ; 
and break it in pieces, if thou wilt but at length bind it 
up." 

Can you adopt this language, dear youthful reader, 
and is your mind in a truly penitent state P Then, as 
another step towards the attainment of personal religion, 
believe in the Lord Jesus Christ ; or, in other words, trust 
in the merits of his death for pardon and acceptance. 
No repentance, however deep, sincere, or long-protracted, 
can ever wash away your sins. No tears you can shed, 
no sacrifices you can offer, no penances you can undergo, 
can meet the claims of Divine justice, or repair the 
broken law. Even if you had the power to amend your 
life, so as from this moment never to commit another 
sinful act or indulge another sinful thought, you could 
not atone for the transgressions which already lie at your 
door. But, behold that Cross! Inhere hangs upon it 
One who never sinned, — the Son of man, — the Son of 
God ! and there He sustains the load of your iniquities ; 
there He suffers in your room and stead ; there He satis- 
fies, on your behalf, the claims of a violated law. Go to 
Him. Cast your soul upon the merits of His sacrifice. 
Claim Him as your Saviour. Cling to Him as your only 
hope. He will hear you; He will accept you; for He 
has said, "him that cometh unto me I will in nowise 
cast him out." Cheering words ! — " I will in nowise 
cast him out." It was this promise that sustained 
the mind of one whose life had been spent in sin and 
folly, but who, being suddenly awakened as from a deep 
slumber, was brought almost to the verge of despair. 



FAITH IN CHRIST. 83 

Let it encourage you, and let nothing — the tvorld, 
Satan, your own hearts, or the deep conviction of your 
unworthiness and guilt — deter you from venturing your 
all on the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the 
world. 

This is faith, — faith in Christ, — that faith which every 
one must exercise ere he can obtain internal peace. It 
is very simple, very child-like ; so much so that some, 
overlooking its simplicity, say that they cannot under- 
stand it, and complain of it as something incomprehen- 
sible and mysterious. We have heard many people make 
this complaint, and some have even said, " We cannot 
believe ; we have not power to believe ; we know not how 
to believe." Does the youthful reader thus complain ? 
Why should he? He can believe in his earthly father; 
and when that father is far away from home in a distant 
land, and sends a letter to his children telling them that 
he loves them still, and that he hopes to see them again 
ere long, he does not find it difficult to believe what his 
father says. Is it more difficult to believe in our 
heavenly Father, — that He loves us, — that His Son died 
for us, — that He is willing and ready to forgive us, 
though we have done wrong ? True, an impenitent sinner 
cannot believe this, for he has no warrant to believe 
it, and his belief of it would be presumption, not faith. 
But to every penitent sinner the warrant to believe is 
given, and the power to believe vouchsafed j and he has 
but to exercise that power, and presently he will feel 
himself on the Eternal Kock. O come, young ^ends, to 
the loving Saviour! He waits to accept you. He is 
ready to welcome you. He lifts before you his hands 
and points you to his open side. He says to you, in 
accents sweeter and more gentle than the tenderest 
g2 



84 PERSONAL EELIGION. 

mother could employ, " Come unto Me, and I will receive 
you ; come unto Me, and I will give you rest" 

What follows on the exercise of faith in Christ ? A 
consciousness of pardon, a sense of the Divine favour, a 
glow of holy love on the altar of the soul, enkindled by 
the fire from heaven, and destined to become warmer, 
purer, holier, through all time and for ever. Now it is 
that personal religion actually begins, — ^that experimental 
and practical piety takes its rise. Now the new course of 
life is entered upon ; and now, in the possession of peace 
with God, a disburdened conscience, a regenerated na- 
ture, and a loving heart, the young disciple of the meek 
and lowly One pursues his way. How blessed are the 
feelings of the new-born child of God ! 

" The godly grief, the pleasing smart, 
The meltings of a broken heart ; 
The tears that tell his sins forgiven, 
The sighs that waft his soul to heaven ; 
The guiltless shame, the sweet distress^ 
The unutterable tenderness ; 
The genuine, meek humility; 
The wonder ' Why such love to mc* " 

"We doubt not that some of our youthful readers have 
tasted of these joys ; but there are others, perhaps, who 
cannot bear testimony to a sense of the Divine favour, 
and who cannot say with confidence that they have been 
bom of the Spirit from above. They do not neglect 
prayer ; they love the house of God ; they take pleasure 
in reading and in studying the Scriptures ; and, in ad- 
dition to all this, there is in them much that is amiable 
in disposition, gentle in manners, and affectionate in 
spirit; but they cannot call God their Father by the 
Spirit given unto them, nor look up to heaven as their 
future home : and were they to sicken, and were eternity 



BEGENEBATION. 85 

to Open on their view, there would be ** a dim uncer- 
tainty" in their minds relative to the future, if not 
positive fear and dread. Now, in addressing such of our 
readers, we can scarcely find words and expressions suf- 
ficiently strong with which to urge upon them the mo- 
mentous importance of seeking until they attain these 
lofty privileges. Nothing short of them will place you 
on the rock, standing upon which you will be able to 
defy the impending storm. " Ye must be bom again." 
There is no substitute for personal conversion, and it 
takes place only through the exercise of personal trust in 
the mercy of God revealed to us in the Gospel of his 
Son. 

Do any ask. But were we not regenerated in our 
baptism ? This is our reply ; you were received by your 
baptism into the Church of Christ, and we doubt not 
that the rite was no unmeaning one, but that the Holy 
Spirit gave to you, in connexion with it, a measure, of 
his grace ; yet if, as we doubt not is the fact, you have, 
since your baptism, become actual transgressors of the 
law of God, you have still need to undergo this vital 
change, for the fact of your having committed known 
and wilful sin is a proof that you do not possess the 
new nature or the new name. 

But have our readers, indeed, " passed from death "^ 
unto life?" Then will they bring forth the fruits of 
the Spirit — " love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, 
goodness, faith, meekness, temperance;" and never do 
those fruits appear more beautiful than in the young 
disciple of the Lord Jesus, for they are the true adorn- 
ment of the soul atid of the mind, 

** Than gold or pearls more costly far, 
And brighter than the morning star." 

We have seen the young and tender vine which thfi, 



86 PERSONAL RELIGION. 

gardener has trained with considerable care and skill, 
and there has been such a freshness in its leaves and 
such a richness in the appearance of its fruit, that though 
the older vines have looked much stronger and their 
clusters of grapes have been larger and riper, we have 
surveyed the former with equal pleasure, and have 
found that the vine-dresser took in them great delight. 
It is so in regard to youthful Christians. On them the 
Church looks with peculiar satisfaction, and watches the 
development of their minds, and their growth in wisdom 
and in holiness, with the deepest interest. 

It must not be forgotten, however, that even in the 
regenerated nature these fruits of the Spirit will not 
grow without culture and without care. We meet with 
many young people, respecting whose conversion we can 
scarcely doubt ; but whose piety is not healthy, vigorous, 
and manly, and who are, therefore, no credit to the 
Church in which they have been reared. For, instead of 
adorning their profession and being ornaments of societj^ 
they are either gay and trifling, or sullen and morose, 
and hence the world thinks little of their religion, and is 
disposed to doubt whether it is a reality. To what are 
the defects in their piety to be traced ? They are to be 
traced to the want of the cultivation of the fruits of 
righteousness, — to the neglect of prayer and the ordi- 
nances of religion, — and to that slothful spirit which we 
have already condemned, and which invariably stunts 
the growth of the Christian, so that he remains a mere 
"babe in Christ*' as long as he is under its baneful 
influence. We would have our young people aim at 
eminence in their profession. We would have them 
" leave the first principles of the doctrine of Christ and 
go on unto perfection." Let them not be always children, 
but let them aspire to the dignity of young men in Christ 



FEUITS OF THE 8PIKIT. 87 

Jesus. Their piety should be so decided, that no one 
may be able to question its reality ; so bright and lumi- 
nous, that no one may be able to doubt its origin ; so 
vigorous and manly, that no one may be able to shake 
its confidence. 

In one of the beautiful prayers of St Paul he asks 
that Christian believers may be " rooted and grounded 
in love." Love the soil in which they are planted, he is 
anxious that they should be like the tree whose roots 
have firm hold, or like a building whose foundations are 
laid deep and broad. But there are many, especially 
among the young, who, though planted in the soil of 
love, have such feeble hold of it, that instead of being 
like the sturdy oak, or the lofty pine, or the graceful 
cedar, which can defy the storm, are like the feeble reed 
which bends and breaks before the slightest breeze ; or, 
instead of being like the lofty tower whose foundations 
are so strong that, though it seems to touch the sky, it is 
unshaken by the winter's blast, are like a building based 
upon the sand, which, when the winds blow and the rain 
descends, soon falls, and is washed away. O for more 
stability and firmness ! It is the want of this that leads 
to so m^ny fatal falls, and that swells, from time to time, 
the catalogue of wanderers from the fold of Christ. Let 
our young people get "rooted and grounded in love." 
Let them be satisfied with nothing but genuine religion, 
and that of the most eminent and lofty character. Let 
them guard against all those chilling influences which 
tend to diip the tender plant as soon as it grows up ; and 
let them!,. be specially careful to shun the atmosphere 
which wokld cause their piety to languish and their souls 
to droop. \, 

Do we >>advocate, then, a spirit of ostentation in the 
religious profession of the young ? Far from it S.ome 



88 FEB60NAL BELIOION. 

of our sweetest flowers bloom in the garden almost 
unseen, and were it not for the fragrance they exhale 
we should scarcely know that they were there. So may 
it be, so should it be, with the youthful Christian. His 
piety should be of such a character that, like the violet 
or the primrose, he should diffuse a heavenly odour all 
around him, yet without parade or show. True religion 
has no need of ostentation. There is about her some- 
thing which cannot be hid, and therefore she does not 
require the aid of superfluous ornament to set her forth 
and make her conspicuous in the eyes of men. The 
young Christian should not talk about his piety, but 
exemplify it in his conduct and his life. A profession of 
religion he must make, but it should be humbly, and in 
a retiring spirit, seeking only the praise of God and not 
the praise of men. 

The young should also cultivate a happy, cheerful 
piety. Religion is not designed to make us sad and 
melancholy, nor does it require us to shut ourselves out 
from all society, to retire into a convent, or to take the 
monastic vow. It sanctifies life, and all its relationships, 
and it opens to the soul new sources of pleasure and 
enjoyment of the purest and most elevated kind. " If 
we become religious,'* say some young people, " we must 
bid farewell to all our pleasures, and must become de- 
mure, and grave, and sad." To sinful pleasures they 
must bid farewell, it is true j but has Divine Providence 
furnished no innocent pleasures for his creatures ? 
Must we needs, in order to be happy, violate God's holy 
laws P Let us listen to Solomon on this subject. '< Happy 
is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth 
understanding, for the merchandise of it is better than the 
merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine 
gold. She is more precious than rubies; and all the 



TBUE HAPPINESS. 89 

things thou canst desire are not to be compared to her. 
Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand 
riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, 
and all her paths are peace." (Prov. iii. 13 — 17.) Yes, 
dear youthful reader, religion was designed, and is emi- 
nently calculated, to make you happy. What sources of 
pleasure does she forbid you to repair to which are 
not injurious to your highest interests? Not those of 
nature, for she teaches you to study nature, and points 
you, through it, to its great Original and Lord. Not 
those of literature and science, for she ennobles these, 
and makes use of them in support of her highest claims 
on the homage and affection of mankind. Not those of 
poetry and art, for she presents themes for the poet's pen, 
and subjects for the painter's pencil, of the sublimest 
character ; and some of her most eminent disciples have 
poured forth strains of loftiest verse, and have filled the 
canvas with the noblest conceptions. Keligion denies to 
you none of these pleasures, and she opens up to you 
besides a thousand more. To every youth she takes into 
her school, she says, " Be happy ! " and she rejoices to 
see her children gladsome as the lark when he rises 
from his grassy bed and mounts on the wing towards 
heaven. 

Cultivate, then, a cheerful piety. Be serious, but not 
sad. Be thoughtful, but not melancholy. Let that flow 
of spirits which usually characterizes the young be laid 
under a little restraint, but let it not be wholly checked 
as if you thought it were a sin to laugh or smile. Rather 
let it have vent in songs of joy and praise, and let it en- 
liven all around you, cheering every breast, and making 
lighter every heart. Blessed is the influence which a 
happy Christian, whether young or old, may shed upon 
the ciicle in which he moves. Like gleams of sunshine 



90 PERSONAL REI.TCIOX. 

on a cloudy day, he may light up many a home of sorrow, 
and cause gladness and rejoicing in many a drooping 
soul. One pious person in a family is often " the angel of 
the house," whose presence is essential to its peace, and 
without whom its joys would fade. 



SECTION TL 

CHURCH FELLOWSHIP. 

" 0, sweet it is, through life's dark way, 
In Christian fellowship to move, 
Illumed by one unclouded ray, 
And one in faith, in hope, in love." 

— Charlotte Elizabeth. 

Were you setting out upon a journey to a distant place, 
over a somewhat dreary desert, in which there were but 
few footprints to point you out the road ; and did you see, 
a little way before you, a company of travellers who were 
journeying to the same place, having with them an un- 
erring guide and powerful protector ; what, dear reader, 
would you do ? Would you not hasten to that company, 
and ask them to take you under their friendly care, and 
allow you the privilege of their society ? Yes, and if 
among those travellers there were some of your own 
relatives, you would join them the more readily and 
with greater confidence, and happy would you be to find 
that, instead of having to travel on a lonely path, you 
would have associates the most agreeable and com- 
panionship the most genial and kind. 

Now, you are setting out upon a journey. If you have 
obtained, or even if you are seeking, personal religion, 
you have, like Bunyan's Pilgrim, turned your back on 
the City of Destruction, and set your face towards 



92 CHURCH FELLOWSHIP. 

Mount Zion, the "inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, 
and that fadeth not away." But the journey is a difficult 
one, and you are comparatively unacquainted with the 
road. The way is sometimes over the rugged mountain 
and sometimes through the dreary valley, and there are 
many by-paths on either hand, which look exceedingly 
inviting, but which lead to certain destruction and death. 
There is, however, a large company of travellers, who 
are prosecuting the journey — ^the followers of Jesus 
Christ, whom He Himself has formed into a Church 
for their mutual help and comfort, and before whom He 
goes, by a pillar of cloud or of fire, promising to bring 
them to the land of rest they seek. 

Are you a Christian? or do you wish to become 
one ? They ask you to join them, saying, " We are 
journeying to the place of which the Lord hath said, 
I will give it you. Come with us, and we will do 
you good, for the Lord hath spoken good concerning 
Israel ;" and it is both your privilege and your duty to 
comply. 

It is your privilege to join the Church of Christ. In 
one sense, indeed, you belong to it already. You were 
admitted into it by your baptism, in which solemn rite 
you were presented to Christ and to his people by your 
parents and by the Christian minister, and by which you 
became entitled to a name and a place within the family 
of God on earth. Hence, unless you repudiate that 
baptism, — unless you are unwilling, now that you have 
arrived at a responsible age, to renounce the vows which 
were then made on your behalf, you have a right to 
claim the blessings which belong to you, and to say to 
the Church, " I am one of your children, and I need your 
help, your counsels, and your prayers j permit me to sit 
at your board, to take shelter under your wing, and to 



THE LOKD'S supper. 93 

prosecute life's journey under your direction ; " and 
gladly will the Church admit your plea, and open wide 
her arms to take you to her breast. Like a fond parent 
who watches over her child from its infancy, observes 
with unspeakable pleasure the first dawnings of reason 
in its mind, teaches its lips to offer prayer, and is glad 
when she sees that her efforts to train it in the right way 
have not proved altogether fruitless, the Church has already 
taken great care of you ; and now, if you acknowledge 
her as your foster-mother, she will rejoice over you with 
joy, she will still watch over you and guide you, and, 
under her kind guardianship you shall be preserved 
from Satan's wiles and from the allurements and tempta- 
tions of the world. 

But it is equally your duty to join the Church of 
Christ. It is your duty, that is, openly and publicly to 
take upon you your baptismal vows, or rather to renew 
them, first by presenting yourself at the table of the 
Lord, and there partaking of the emblems of his death 
and sacrifice ; and secondly, by joining yourself to the 
society of God's people for fellowship and prayer. Some 
would have the young convert join the society before he 
sought admission to the table of the Lord ; but we would 
by no means have him wait until he is a recognised 
member of it, ere he avails himself of this privilege, 
for every young person who does not wilfully transgress 
the law of God, and who is in a truly penitent state of 
mind, has a right, in virtue of his admission into the 
Church by baptism, to lay claim at once to the benefit of 
the second sacrament instituted by our Lord; and no 
Christian minister will refuse to admit such a young 
person to that sacrament if he is satisfied that the candi- 
date understands the nature of the ordinance and is 



94 CHURCH FELLOWSHIP, 

sincere in his desire of becoming a disciple of the Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

We have ever thought it one of the most pleasing and 
gratifying sights we could witness to see young persons, 
as it has often been our privilege, approaching, for Ihe 
first time, the sacramental table, and there plighting their 
vows to Him who bought them with his precious blood. 
With downcast looks, and tearful eyes, and trembling 
knees, have they bowed at the Saviour's feet, conscious 
of their sinfulness, and fearful lest they should eat and 
drink unworthily ; but as the hallowed service has pro- 
ceeded, — as they have joined in the confession and the 
prayers, — and as the symbols have been given to them by 
the hands of the minister, their faith has become stronger, 
they have discerned the Lord's body, and they have been 
enabled to rely upon the great atonement with such con- 
fidence as they never felt before. And then they have 
gone away from the table, saying to themselves, " Now 
the vows of God are upon us, now have we solemnly 
pledged ourselves to be his servants, and now, therefore, 
we must be watchful against the world and sin ; ** and with 
lighter hearts and firmer steps they have pursued their 
heavenward course. 

Then " shrink not ye, whom to the sacred rite 

The altar calls ; come early under laws 

That can secure for you a path of light 

Through gloomiest shade; put on, nor dread its weight. 

Armour divine, and conquer in your cause." 

You owe it to Him who said, " Do this in remembrance 
of me ; " thus to ** confess " Him " before men," and, by 
your own act and deed, to take upon you those vows 
which, in your infancy, your parents made on your 
behalf; and if you refuse or hesitate, it must be either 



VALUE OF THE SACRAMENT. 95 

because you are not sincere in your profession of religion, 
or that you yield to unbelief and fear. 

We assume, of course, that you know something of 
the nature of this solemn rite. You have been taught to 
view it, not as a sacrifice for sin, but as a feast comme- 
morative of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ pre- 
sented once for all, — as a sign or symbol of his death, — 
and as a means of grace of special benefit to believers, 
inasmuch as through it they become partakers of Christ's 
body and blood, or of the true bread which came down 
from heaven. Let our youth ponder this subject with 
much thoughtfulness and prayer, and with such views 
upon it as they are likely to obtain from the teachings of 
Methodism and its ministers, let them humbly but con- 
fidently come to the table of the Lord, and there plight 
to Him their vows. Thiey have no need to fear, to hesi- 
tate, or to doubt Jesus Himself invites them to come, and 
when they come He will accept and bless them and will 
fill them with his grace and peace. 

The Lord's Supper is an ordinance which He often 
deigns to own in a very special manner, and in various 
ways. It has sometimes been the means of the con- 
version of persons who have remained to witness its 
celebration ; and, in many instances, penitent seekers of 
salvation have, whilst receiving it, obtained a sense of 
their acceptance in the Beloved. " About thirty years 
ago," says an American minister, " the Supper of the 
Lord was dispensed at Bermuda, in the Presbyterian 
Church. A stranger from America was present. He 
had been residing for some time on the island. He came 
to the island a gay and thoughtless young man. One 
evening, in private, it occurred to him, — In what must 
such a life issue ? The thought took deep hold of his 
mind, and excited the utmost anxiety. His companions 



96 CHUBCH FELLOWSHIP. 

were gay like himself, and he knew no others. He be- 
came sick of his former life, but found none to direct 
him. He secluded himself, and was completely miser- 
able. In various mortifications he expected relief; his 
severities were excessive ; he was emaciated, and his life 
was in danger. He would have communicated his dis- 
tress to those who could give him counsel, but where 
were such ? O ! where ? They were unknown to him. 
He attended worship at the time and place mentioned ; 
and the solemnity was the most impressive I ever wit- 
nessed. The remembrance at this moment is refreshing. 
The elements had been distributed, and were in the 
hands of the communicants. All was still. Not a breath 
could be heard. All felt that they had a deep concern 
in the death of Christ. A voice broke the silence; it 
was an unknown voice, — * Christ have mercy upon me ! ' 
It was the voice of the stranger. All again was still as 
death. The solemnity of the assembly was increased, 
and their feelings too deep for utterance. The assembly 
breaking up, some retired rejoicing in the Kedeemer, 
others deeply sensible that they stood in need of a 
Saviour. The stranger assured me that he was not 
aware of what he said, his mind was so fully engaged. 
When he was better instructed concerning the person, 
character, and office of Christ, he saw a Kock upon 
which he could build, and, building thereon, he found 
rest to his soul. He became a zealous and an exemplary 
Christian. Returning to America, he took orders in the 
Episcopal Church, and has laboured for many years in 
the vineyard with acceptance and success.** 

Facts similar to the above many a minister could 
relate ; and there are, doubtless, instances innumerable in 
which this sacrament is honoured, which are known 
only to the recipients of the blessing. How is it, then, 



WHAT 18 CHTJBCH MEMBEBSHIP? 97 

that Christian professors can neglect this ordinance? 
and how is it that the young are so unwilling to come to 
it ? Whatever is the cause, they rob themselves of an 
inestimable privilege, and we can scarcely wonder if they 
grow up feeble and sickly plants ; and if, when storms 
arise, they wither, droop, and die. We press this duty, 
then, upon the immediate attention of our readers ; and 
we invite them, if but truly penitent, to seek admission 
to the Supper of the Lord on the very next occasion of 
its being administered. 

And yet coming to the Lord's table does not consti- 
tute Church-membership. In apostolic times it was, we 
apprehend, not so much a test of Church-membership as 
a privilege flowing out of it ; and so it ought to be in all 
Churches, as in some it is, in the present day. In the 
Wesleyan Church, for example, a young person would be 
admitted to this sacrament once, ere he had, as we gene- 
rally express it, joined the society; but he would be 
aUowed to come statedly, only on the condition of his 
uniting himself with 6od*s people, and submitting to the 
rules by which they are governed. This, too, is your 
duty, and this also is your privilege. With some section 
or other of the Christian Church ought every one who 
wishes to glorify God and to secure eternal life, to con- 
nect himself without delay. Of some in Macedonia 
St. Paul rejoicingly said, " Aat they first gave their own 
selves to the Lord, and unto mhy the tmU of God ; " and 
of Paul himself, just after his conversion, it is said that 
he " assayed to join himself to the disciples^ He did not 
wait until he was asked to join them, for, on account of 
his previous conduct, ^ they were all afraid of him, and 
believed not that he was a disciple ; " but he sought to 
join them, and urged them to accept him, and was at 
H 



98 CHUBCH FELLOWSHIP. 

length, though reluctantly, admitted into their fellow- 
ship. He had now become a soldier of the Cross, and 
he wished to join the army of Immanuel, to wear the 
badge of a Christian warrior, and to engage in the 
glorious warfare against the world and sin in connexion 
with the mighty host of the elect 

And so it should ever be. The youthful convert can 
do little <^ himself. Is he a traveller P He will find the 
way dreary and difficult without companionship, and 
common prudence will suggest to him the importaoee of 
joining himself to others who are journeying to Mount 
Zion. Is he a soldier P How, single-handed and alone, 
can he expect to contend successAilly with his foes? 
They are numerous, powerful, and very subtle ; and only 
with the aid of the prayers, counsel, and encouragement 
of the Church can he hope to conquer. 

But there are Christian professors not a few (Chris- 
tians we cannot call them) who wish, as it would seem, 
to find out a solitary path to heaven ; and there are some 
who would fain be Christians, and yet make no religious 
profession openly and before the world. Now this is 
just as impossible as it would be for a man to become a 
soldier who should refuse to join the ranks of the army, 
and should be ashamed to appear in a soldier's uniform. 
The Captain of om* salvation has issued peremptory 
commands that all his followers shall be joined together 
in mighty phalanx to assist one another in the struggles 
In which they are engaged ; and their oneness is their 
strength, — their union is their glory and their boast. 
True, they are divided into ranks and companies, and 
are composed of numerous regiments and bodies; but, 
different though they appear in some respects, they form 
one vast army and fight under one banner; nor can any 



METHODISM. 99 

one stand aloof from them and be guiltless ; for he that is 
not with Christ is against Him, and neutrality in this 
warfare there is none. 

Buckle on then, youthful reader, the armour of the 
Christian, and go join yourself to the embattled hosts. 
It is said that when a Highland chieftain summoned his 
clan on an important emergency, he slew a goat, and 
making a cross of light wood seared its extremities in 
the fire, and then extinguished them in the blood of the 
animaL This was called the Fiery Cross, and being 
deliyered to a swift messenger it was carried from hamlet 
to hamlet, and at the sight of it eyery man capable of 
bearing arms was bound to repair to the place of ren- 
dezyous. He who failed to appear was put to death 
with fire and sword. Now we present to you the Cross 
of Christ stained with his own blood, which He shed on 
your behalf, and we call on you to rally round the 
standard and to join the army which He is leading on 
to victory. It is at yoiu: peril you refuse ; for if you hold 
back, either from shame or fear, He will disown you, and 
will ultimately oast you aS, 

Do our readers ask to what division of the army shall 
we join ourselves ? or with what section of the Christian 
Church shall we cast in our lot P They need not, — ^they 
ought not, to hesitate long on this point, if, as we assume, 
they are already connected by numerous ties to Wesleyan 
Methodism, for they will find no section of the Church 
which will take greater pains in promoting their spiritual 
interests, nor one in which they will be more likely to 
become valiant soldiers of Jesus Christ. We do not hold 
that every young person is bound to attach himself to the 
Church of his fathers ; but if that Church is a scriptural 
Church, and maintains the doctrines and the discipline 
of ^the New Testament, and if^ moreover, he has been 
H 2 



100 CHXJKCH FELLOWSHIP. 

baptized by one of her ministers, instructed in her 
schools, taught her catechisms and her hymns, and been 
long nourished and strengthened by her ordinances, 
surely that Church has a claim on his affections, and a 
right to expect that he will unite himself to her fold. 
Have you derived these blessings, under God, from 
Methodism ? and have you, through her instrumentality, 
been made partakers of the Holy Ghost P Then ought 
you at once to join her ranks, and to do everything in 
your power to promote her interests. Methodism never 
attempts to proselytize, — to rob other Churches that she 
may strengthen herself; but depends, for additions to her 
members, on the young whom she trains in her families 
and in her schools, and on the converts she gathers out of 
the ungodly world. To you, then, she specially looks as 
her hope in futiure days ; and, as a tender mother, she 
would fold you in her arms, and carry you in her bosom, 
and still nourish you with the utmost care. 

Yet we would not have you join her by compulsion, 
but with a willing mind ; neither would we have you do 
it without due deliberation, inquiry, and forethought. 
'We should like our young people to become Methodists 
on principle. We should like them to understand what 
they are about,— to count the cost, — ^to make themselves 
acquainted, as far as their circumstances will allow, with 
the principles we hold and the doctrines we preach, that 
thus they may become intelligent members of the Church, 
and be able to maintain their ground against all the 
opposition with which they may be assailed. Nor are we 
afraid of any tests which they may apply to Methodism, 
drawn either from Scripture or enlightened reason. 
Methodism is not a thing of yesterday. It has now 
been in existence for upwards of a century ; and, during 
that period, it has been subjected to trials the most 



TTNGBATEFUL OPPONENTS. 101 

severe, and has been attacked on all sides, both by the 
rich and by the poor, by the learned and by the illiterate, 
by outward enemies and by enemies within. Yet, like a 
majestic barque which has outridden many a storm, and 
is as sound and trustworthy as she ever was, Methodispi 
is still prosecuting its course, and never with greater 
vigour and success than now. It will bear examination , 
and the more you know of it the more you will admire it, 
and the greater will be your confidence in its excellence 
and stability. 

Of many of the children of her people she has, how- 
ever, had great reason to complain. Some of them have 
not only abandoned her, but, after having received a 
liberal education in her schools, have turned and fought 
against her, joined the ranks of her bitterest enemies, 
and employed their talents and their learning in attempts 
to impair her usefulness and success. Whether this be 
right in the sight of God, we will let our readers say, and 
we doubt not that the majority of them will answer with 
an indignant no ! It is no more right than it is for a 
child to rebel against a kind and generous parent; and 
we fear that the guilt which rests on the heads of many 
who once belonged to the youth of Methodism, is such 
as, if not repented of, will one day meet with no slight 
punishment. There are not a few who, in this world, 
have reaped the reward of their folly and ingratitude ; — 
not a few who, had they maintained their connexion 
with Methodism, would now have been occupying honour- 
able positions in society and in the Church, but who, 
instead of this, are all but lost in penury and want. A 
young man once presented himself at our door, in the 
meanest attire, asking for charity, and stating that he 
was the nephew of a "Wesleyan minister. We had 
reason to believe his story, and he confessed that he him* 



1021 CHUBCH FELLOWSHIP. 

* 

self had been brought up among the Methodist people, 
and that his sin and folly were the sole cause of his dis- 
tress. O, then, whateyer you do, forsake not the Church 
in which you have been nourished from your infancy! 
At least, do not oppose her, do not side with her enemies, 
do not take up arms to fight against her. If, from con- 
scientious motives, you should join some other section of 
the Church, do not forget the Church of your childhood, 
but remember her with affection, and never be ashamed 
to own that you were indebted to her for your early 
training in the paths of truth. O, fie upon the man, be 
he who he may, who considers it dishonourable to him to 
admit that his parents belonged to the people called 
ilethodists, and who is too proud to worship in a 
Wesleyan sanctuary. Such cases we have known ; and 
we have lamented over them, though less for the sake of 
Methodism than for that of her ungrateful sons; for 
theirs is the greatest loss, and theirs the only shame. 

" But we object," say some, " to the class-meeting. 
Everything else in Methodism we admire and love, but 
the class-meeting we cannot do with, and hence we 
cannot become Methodists." Bid you ever try it, we 
would ask, for any length of time, so as to become 
acquainted with its nature and to prove its value ? We 
have seldom heard the class-meeting objected to by a 
spiritually-minded person who has attended it for a while 
from right motives ; but we have heard'numbers testify 
of the benefits derived from it, and, to young converts 
especially, it has proved like an enclosure in the garden 
where they have found shelter from many a storm, and 
refuge from many a winter's blast "But I can get 
to heaven without meeting in class," said a young lady 
to the Rev. John Smith, in reply to his remarks on this 
subject " That was not the way in which your father 



THE CLAS8-MBETING. 108 

got to heaven,'' he observed. She ackno^4l4gfed it was 
not, and from that moment she resolved t^ take the 
path by which her father had been conductied to the 
better land. Is not this a thought worthy of the con- 
sideration of many of the youth of Methodism, that the 
class-meeting proved a valuable means of grace to their 
sainted parents who have passed into the skies P Oh! 
what multitudes of your honoured ancestors are now 
before the throne, whose piety was, to a great extent, 
nourished and matured through the instrumentality of 
weekly fellowship one with another, in the class ! And 
will you despise or neglect an ordinance which has so 
frequently been stamped with the Divine blessing, which 
is so admirably suited to man's mental constitution, and 
which is perfectly in accordance with the spirit of Chris*- 
tianity and the customs of the early Church? No, if 
you love Christ and his people, — ^if you are anxious to 
grow in grace, — if you are desirous of deeper^experience 
in the things of God, you will gladly avail yourself of 
the privilege of sitting at the feet of some eminent and 
devoted follower of the Saviour, and of learning from 
him and others, how best to conquer the world and sin. 
Perhaps you have already had your name enrolled 
among those ** who speak often one to another," and if 
so, you know the blessedness of Christian communion, 
and you rejoice in the thought that " a book of remem- 
brance is written," and that such shall be the Lord's in 
that day when He " makes up his jewels." But have 
you hitherto hesitated thus closely to join yourself to the 
people of God P Hesftate no , longer. Your best, your 
highest interests, both for time and for eternity, hang 
upon your taking such a step. It cannot but be right. 
It cannot but be safe. It cannot but conduce to your 
present and your future good. 



104 CHURCH FELLOWSHIP. 

Far be it from us, howeyer, to lead you to suppose 
that church-fellowship in itself ynH insure your salvation, 
or that it can ever be a mbstUute for personal religion. 
It is only as a means to your adyanoement in piety that 
we urge it on your attention. There is an inherent 
tendency in the human heart to trust in names and 
titles, in rites and ceremonies; a tendency specially 
manifested in many who are connected with the Church 
of Eome ; but to which Protestants, Episcopalians, and 
eyen Methodists, are liable. Are there none among us 
who, simply because they are members of society think 
themselves better than other people, and, whilst resting 
short of a change of heart, are indulging a hope that 
they are in the way to heaven ? Against such an error 
be ever on your guard. ** The name of Christian, of 
reformed, of Protestant Christian," says an eminent 
living prelate, and we would add, '* of Wesleyans, or of 
Baptists," " instead of saving will condemn, as doubly 
inexcusable, on the great day when the secrets of men's 
hearts shall be disclosed, him, who ' naming the name of 
Christ,' has not * departed from iniquity.' " Hence we 
would carry you back to the subject of the previous 
section, and again remind you that nothing can be a sub- 
stitute for personal religion, and hence we invite you to 
join the Church of Christ, not that having done so, you 
may rest satisfied with yourselves and think that all is 
well, but that you may be refreshed, strengthened, and 
invigorated by fellowship with God's people to pursue 
your upward and heavenward way. 



SECTION m. 

THE FORMATION OF CHARACTER. 

'' And sweet it is the growth to trace 
Of worth, of intellect, of grace, 
In bosoms where our labours first 
Bid the young seed of spring-time burst ; 
And lead it on from hour to hour, 
To ripen into perfect flower."— Bowbiko. 

Pebsonal religion obtained, and the privileges of 
Church membership secured, there are yet other duties 
devolving on our youth essential to their welfare, of 
which that of forming their character is one of the most 
important, as it embraces several others of the greatest 
moment 

To a young person character is everything,— the 
warp of his being and the arbiter of &is fate. What is 
wealth ? What is talent? What is even genius to him 
who is destitute of high-toned character? Wealth, 
talent, and genius can secure for their possessors no per- 
manent respect or honour, and many who could boast of 
having them all, but whose characters have been seri- 
ously defective, have only won for themselves the scorn 
of society and the contempt of all good men. But 
character always secures respect. ** I could stand hat in 
hand to that boy,'* said Dr. Arnold with regard to one 
of his pupils at Eugby who was distinguished for his 
dignified and upright conduct; and you will ever find 



106 THE FOBMATION OF CHABACTEB. 

that, far more than parts or learning, those qualities 
which form what the hest men call a noble character, 
will attract ftttention and secure esteem and love. Even 
piety is sullied if character be not attained. There are 
many youth who, though perhaps pious on the whole, 
are wanting in courage, in fortitude, in decision, or in 
perseverance ; and the lack of these, or of some other 
properties, renders their profession somewhat dubious, 
detracts from their reputation, and prevents their use- 
fulness. 

" The worth of character,** says the Rev. John Scott, 
in an admirable address to the students at Westmin- 
ster, ** often strikingly appears from the condition in 
which you see a person placed, who is without U. 
Situations open ; posts of respectability and emolument 
are vacant, which his natural abilities and his attain- 
ments would enable him to fill ; friends are anxious to 
promote his welfare, — to see him in a position where he 
will be useful and happy ; but he wants character, and 
they dare not trust him. He is not manly ; he is vain, 
frivolous, uncertain ; he lacks thoughtfulness, industry. 
Or the negation is graver still. He has no character for 
sincerity, truth, integrity, — the fear is that he lacks them. 
He is wanting in some essential quality, perhaps in more 
than one ; and there is a moral certainty that, if placed 
in a situation of trust and importance, he will miscarry. 
No one that knows him, therefore, will undertake the 
responsibility of recommending or appointing him. In 
a person of known and approved character there is no 
hesitation ; every one is sure that what he can, he toiU 
do. The question, then, is solely one of competence. 
Do his powers and his acquirements render him capable 
of discharging the duties of the vacant situation ? This 
ascertained, no one hesitates to place him in it.*' 



WE A£E ALL BUILDEBS. 107 

TKe importance of the duty we would now urge 
upon you cannot, then, be over estimated. And let not 
our readers say that the formation of their character is 
not in their own hands. To affirm, as some do, that 
man is entirely the creature of circumstances, and that 
he has little or no control over his moral nature, is to 
place him on a level with the brute creation, and to 
charge God with the injustice of requiring at his hands 
what he is altogether unable to perform. Men, it is 
true, differ considerably in their mental and physical 
constitutions, and a certain stamp of character is im« 
pressed on every one from his infancy, or even from his 
birth. But the form is not so fixed that it cannot be 
altered and improved. It is like a model c^t in yielding 
clay, not like a statue carved in ivory or stone. Hence 
it may be remoulded and reformed ; and the educational 
and religious privileges we possess are the means to be 
employed in the momentous task. We are all builders, 
as Longfellow in one of his poems teaches, — the builders 
of our own character, the arbiters of our own fate ; and 
we must do our work well, that the structure which we 
raise may be beautiful and clean; 

" Elie our lives are incomplete, 
Standing in these walls of time; 
Broken stairways, where the feet 
Stumble as they seek to climb." 

And it is in youth that the work must be com- 
menced, for if left to riper years it will be all but 
impossible to accomplish it. You may turn the course 
of the stream just as it issues from the foot of the hill, 
but it will be another thing to turn it when it has 
swollen into a mighty tide. You may bend the tender 
sapling which has recently shot forth out of the parent 



108 THE FOBMATION OF CHABACTEB. 

trunk, but it will not be so easy to bend it when it has 
become a vigorous branch. You may alter the form and 
character of the building whilst yet the foundations are 
being laid, but it will be a more arduous task to alter 
them when the superstructure has already been partly 
reared. In like manner, if you begin early, you may do 
much towards forming your character after the noblest 
models; but if you let the years of your youth pass 
away without attempting it, you will find the stuff with 
which you have to work hard and unyielding like the 
granite rock* 

At onde, then, and without delay, should you set 
about the task of cultivating your mind, forming habits 
of study and observation, rectifying the evils of your 
natural disposition, and getting deeply rooted in yoiur 
breast those great principles of action by which alone 
you can rise to honour in the sight of man and in the 
sight of God. The formation of your character has, no 
doubt, begun. Education has done something for it; 
and your conversion to God, if it has really taken 
place, has done still more. Personal piety, indeed, is 
the foundation of character. Without this, whatever 
the superstructure may be, it will rest upon the shifting 
sand, and, when storms and tempests rise, will, sooner or 
later, tremble to its fall. But, though the foundation may 
have been laid, and laid well and firmly, the superstruc- 
ture has yet to rise, and to gather materials for that, 
and then to put them fitly together, should now be your 
steady aim. 

The mental and the moral, — ^the intellectual and the 
spiritual, are more closely allied than some appear to 
think ; and hence, in speaking of the formation of charac- 
ter, both should be taken into account It has been 
observed that " the germs of sin are marvellously fostered 



OPENNESS, 109 

by a certain want of intellectual development," and 
the converse of the proposition is equally true, that the 
germs of piety are marvellously fostered by the culture of 
the intellectual powers. The brightest characters are not 
found among the refined but irreligious, nor yet among 
the religious but uneducated; — they are found rather 
among those in whom religion and intelligence are com* 
bined; and hence, according to the means which he 
possesses, — the leisure at his disposal, the books within 
his reach, and the position in society he expects to fill, 
every young person should cultivate his mind; but 
especially should he attend to the culture of his moral 
and religious character, the full development of which is 
essential to his highest weal. 

To constitute a truly noble character, certain qualities 
are indispenisable, the attainment of which is not de- 
pendent on superior advantages of education, though, 
where these are possessed, they may, perhaps, be at- 
tained more readily. We have adverted to some of 
them in the preceding pages ; we may here refer briefly 
to some others. 

Openness is essential to high-toned character. We 
mean by the term that noble quality which is opposed to 
cunning, slyness, deceitfulness, and meanness. Many 
people there are, — aye, and old ones, too, — whom you 
can never understand, and whom you can never be sure 
of. There is no transparency about them. They do 
everything in the dark. Instead of having a window in 
their breasts, as it has been said every one ought to 
have, their breasts are so closely shut up that their 
most familiar friends are unacquainted with their 
motives; and they go to work in such an underhand 
manner as to awaken suspicions in the minds of the 
least suspecting. Persons of this disposition never 



110 THE FOBMATION OF GHABACTER. 

gain tSie esteem of good men. Whether boys at Bchool, 
youths at college, or apprentices in the shop, they are 
looked upon with contempt and with distrust, and every 
one keeps as much aloof from them as he can. On the 
other hand, truthfulness, candour, openness, are esteemed 
by all men, and in the young especially, they attract 
general attention, and win the highest praise. , How 
beautiful a character is the prophet Daniel ! Every one 
admires him, and for this, among other excellencies, that 
he was no deceiver, but that, when the decree of Darius 
was issued, he did not skulk into a corner to pray, but, 
^ with his windows open in his chamber toward Jeru- 
salem, kneeled upon his knees three times a-day, and 
prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did afore* 
time." How easily might he have found some place of 
prayer where he could not have been seen or heard, or 
how easily might he have closed the windows of his 
chamber, and prayed in his heart whilst no one knew 
it! but there would have been a want of openness in 
that, and it would have seemed as if he intended to obey 
the king's command, which forbad every one to ask any 
petition of any god or man for thirty days. Daniel 
scorned such conduct. He resolved to perform his 
wonted duty, and he resolved, moreover, to do it openly, 
even at the risk of being cast into the lions' den. 
Let our youthful readers imbibe his spirit Let them be 
open, candid, and truthful, in all their actions and in all 
their words ; and let them never condescend to anything 
sly, cunning, or deceitful. Then, in whatever position of 
life they iEure placed, they will be understood by everyone, 
for every one will perceive that there is in them nothing 
artful, nothing deceptive, nothing to conceal ; and every 
one whose esteem is valuable will place confidence in 
them and in their word. 



GENEROSITY. Ill 

Genebositt is another trait of a noble character. It 
is admirable, as it displays itself in liberality to the poor, 
and to the cause of Christ ; it is equally so, as it is exhi- 
bited in acts of kindness towards an opponent or an 
enemy. Some people are liberal, who are not generous. 
Tb^ can give of their substance to feed the poor, but 
they cannot forgive and forget an affiront ; they cannot 
shake hands with one who has offended them; they 
cannot act a magnanimous part towards those who have 
beaten them in contending for a prize. Yet is it not 
a nobler thing to be generous than to be resentful and 
unkind? Which do we admire most? — the conduct 
of Joseph towards his brethren, or that of his brethren 
towards him ? — the conduct of David towards Saul, or 
that of Saul towards David ? A somewhat similar 
contrast is seen in the following story, given by 
Niebuhr, in his "Lectures on Roman History:" — "In 
the year preceding the close of the first Punic war, the 
Koman Consul, C. Fundanius, marched out against 
Hamilcar; the troops of Hamilcar were defeated, through 
the &ult of the commander of the infantry, and many 
were slain. Hamilcar sent for the Koman general, 
and asked for a truce, that he might be able to bury the 
dead. The consul sent him back the answer that he 
ought rather to be concerned about the living, «nd 
capitulate. Hamilcar either did not receive the bodies at 
all, or only with this insulting reply. A short time 
afterwards another engagement took place in which the 
Bomans suffered great losses. Heralds were now sent by 
the Eomans or their allies to effect the delivery of 
the dead, and Hamilcar granted their request by saying 
that he would always be willing to allow them to take 
back the dead after a battle, for he made war against the 
living only/ This was generosity; and we do not 



112 THE FOBMATION OF CHABAGTES. 

hesitate to give the palm of honour to the Carthaginian 
general, and to condemn the conduct of the Roman. 

For the display of generosity our early years furnish 
many opportunities. But how often are the young 
disposed to cherish the remembrance of a wrong, to 
refuse assistance to a rival, and even to trample on^ 
fallen foe ! Is conduct such as this worthy of Christian 
youth ? No ; many of the heathen would have been 
ashamed of it ; much more, then, should it be shunned by 
followers of the Saviour of the world. Cultivate, then, a 
magnanimous spirit. The Christian can afford to be 
generous towards everyone, and when he is so he is like 
the clouds of heaven that drop fertilizing showers on the 
evil and the good ; or like the bright orb of day that 
pours its beams upon the just and upon the imjust. Nay, 
rather, is he like his*Father who is in heaven, whose are 
the clouds, and whose is the sun, and who is ever giving 
to the sons of men blessings more than they deserve. 

** The truly generous is the truly wise, 
And he, who loves not others, lives unblest." 

Sympathy is in some respects allied to generosity. 
" The immense defect that want of sympathy is," says a 
modem writer, " may be strikingly seen in the failures of 
the many attempts that have been made in all ages to 
construct the Christian character omitting sympathy. It 
has produced numbers of people walking up and down 
one narrow plank of self-restraint, pondering over their 
own merits and demerits, keeping out, not the world 
exactly, but their fellow-creatures, from their hearts, and 
caring only to drive their neighbours before them on 
this plank of theirs, or to push them headlong. Thus, 
with many virtues, and much hard work at the formation 
of character, we have had splendid bigots, or censorious 
small people." 



SYMPATHY. 113 

True a8« this is, there are perhaps few qualities more 
rare than deep and genuine sympathy for suffering man.. 
The best of us are far too selfish. We think much of 
our own, but little of others' sufferings and sorrows. Yet 
we know not a tithe of the distress that surrounds us ; 
and the young especially, favoured as many of them 
are with the comforts, and amenities of life, are liable to 
indifference to it and unconcern. O let them cultivate a 
sympathising spirit! They will need sympathy them- 
selves some day, as indeed we all shall ; and hence they 
should manifest it towards others now. How beautiful 
is this virtue in the female character I and how beneficial 
is the influence which a Christian lady may exert when 
actuated by it! Think of Sarah Martin, or Florence 
Nightingale, or Miss Marsh ; the latter, by her sympathy 
for the poor navvies, winning their confidence, drawing 
them from the ale-bench, and leading many of them to 
Christ. Try, youthful reader, to imbibe their spirit. 
Hate selfishness. Shun narrow-mindedness. Get a large, 
feeling, loving heart. Learn to " weep with those who 
weep," and let that charity which suffereth long and is 
kind breathe in all your actions and season all your 
words. Specially towards their aged and infirm parents 
should the young be kind and sympathising. Are they 
poor? their children should support them. Are they 
sick P they should Vatch over and nourish them. Are 
they passing through the valley of the shadow of death ? 
they should, if possible, be near them, to hold out the 
lamp of truth and cheer the way. The widow's son of 
Nain was raised from the dead and given back to his 
mother, as some have thought, because he had been the 
staff of her declining days. 

Decision is a virtue for want of which numbers are 
ruined. Even of those who become sufficiently im- 
I 



114 THE FORMATION OF CHARACTER. 

pressed with the importance of religion to embrace it, 
there are many who, through lack of decision, make little 
progress in the Christian life, and who seldom succeed in 
anything they undertake. Fitful as the vane, and rest- 
less as the bark upon the mountain wave, they are tossed 
about with conflicting views and differences of opinion, 
to-day holding one set of notions and to-morrow another ; 
so that when temptation comes, and to temptation they 
are greatly exposed, they are not prepared to resist and 
to repel it. There are two monosyllables in our language, 
and to know when and how to use them is one of the 
great secrets of life. Yes and No are little words, but 
the manner in which a person utters them will often give 
you the key to his character. If to the solicitations of 
the world he says No ! at once and in a firm and manly 
tone, it will be immediately perceived that he is not to be 
enticed ; but if he falters, if he drawls out the word, if he 
says it as if he did not mean it, his seducers will set him 
down as an undecided character, and will return to the 
charge with every hope of success. If, when invited to 
take part in some noble enterprise, a person says " Yea " 
without hesitation, his friends are sure of him and fully 
reckon on his aid; but if he says it coldly and indif- 
ferently, they doubt whether he means it, and do not, 
therefore, anticipate his co-operation. Learn, youthful 
reader, to say Yes! and No! when you ought to say 
them, and when you say them let every one know that 
you speak decidedly. In other words, be firm ; take your 
stand J and let nothing move you from the right course. 
In these days, when speculations are so rife on all 
subjects, and when all kinds of theories on matters of 
faith and doctrine are discussed, it is essential to the 
highest interests of the young, that their minds become 
settled, and that they do not waver or give way to ques- 



THE THREE JEWISH CAPTIVES. 115 

tionings and doubts. And temptations to sin should 
be repelled instantly, be the sacrifice what it may. 
" Madam," said a young man in a draper's shop to a lady 
who was about to purchase a silk dress, '' it is my duty to 
inform you that that piece is soiled." The master over- 
heard him, and dismissed him from his employ for having 
lost a customer. The young man knew his master's 
character; but he had decision enough, and honesty 
enough, and courage enough,^ to brave all consequences, 
and he left the establishment with a good conscience and 
a brave heart. 

How noble was the conduct of the three Jewish 
captives in the land of Babylon ! On the plains of Dura 
there stands a gigantic golden image, and thousands of 
people are assembled to witness its dedication. Presently 
the sound of music is heard, and in a moment the vast 
crowd bows down and worships the golden image. But 
yonder in the distance, or it may be in the very front, 
are these three youths, and there they stand, silent and 
unmoved. They are summoned into the presence of 
the king Nebuchadnezzar, and threatened with the con- 
sequences of their disregard of his mandate — the burning 
fiery furnace. What is their reply ? " O King Nebu- 
chadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this 
matter. If it be so, our God, whom we serve, is able to 
deliver us from the burning fiery furnace ; and He will 
deliver us from thine hand, O king. But if not, be it 
known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy 
gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set 
up." There was courage ; there was firmness ; there was 
decision, worthy of immortal fame ; and long as time 
shall last will the names of Shadrach, Meshach, and 
Abed-nego be had in honour. 

Other qualities might be named as requisite to the 
I 2 



116 THE FOKMATION OF CHABACTER. 

fonnation of a noble character, as manliness, fortitude, 
humility, and earnestness, together with others which 
may be deemed little things by some people, and yet 
have their influence upon society and the world, — as 
gentleness, politeness, blandness, and obligingness ; but 
we may sum up all in the words of the Apostle Paul : — 
*' Whatsoever things are true; whatsoever things are 
honest; whatsoever things are just; whatsoever things 
are pure; whatsoever things are lovely; whatsoever 
things are of good report ; if there be any virtue, and if 
there be any praise, think on these things." 

For the formation and preservation of character 
several things are requisite, among which, careful read- 
ing, the habit of prayer, and a spirit of watchfulness are 
indispensable. 

Beading is essential, at least to the formation of the 
intellectual character, and almost equally so to the 
formation of the moral and the spiritual. This has been 
called a reading age ; and, judging from the number of 
books and other publications which are daily issuing 
from the press, correctly so. Whereas in former days 
books were found only in the mansions of the rich, now 
the poorest child in the realm has access to them, for 
there is scarcely a village in the land which has not its 
Sabbath-school library; and the formation of Bible- 
classes and Christian associations has created and is 
fostering a taste for reading among young people of all 
classes. In this we rejoice, and we would recommend 
our youth to cultivate this taste ; and instead of spending 
their leisure hours in unprofitable talk or injurious 
gossip, to employ a considerable portion of them in 
careful reading. We say careful reading; and we use 
the term both with regard to what %$ read and to the 
mode of reading. 



BEADING. 117 

The choice of books on all subjects is abundant ; and 
no wonder, therefore, that the question is often asked by 
the young, What shall we read P Now, we would by no 
means restrict our young friends to one kind of reading* 
but would recommend them, as they have the means and 
the opportunity, to make themselves acquainted, more or 
less, with the best literature this country has produced, — 
with history, biography, philosophy, and poetry, — ^that 
the furniture of their minds may be rich and varied. 
"Studies," says Lord Bacon, "serve for delight, for 
ornament, and for ability;" on which aphorism Arch- 
bishop Whately observes, — " We should, then, cultivate, 
not only the corn-fields of our minds, but the pleasure- 
grounds also. Every faculty and every study, however 
worthless they may be, when not employed in the ser- 
vice of God, — however debased and polluted when 
devoted to the service of sin, — become ennobled and 
sanctified when directed by one whose constraining 
motive is the love of Christ, towards a good object" 
But we are afraid that the tendency in the present day 
is to cultivate the pleasure-grounds only, and to neglect 
the corn-fields. Many young people are fond of light 
literature, — of reading works of fiction, apd, perhaps, 
poetry, who will scarcely look at a thoroughly good 
book, to read which requires a little thought and care. 
What is the result? Their minds are but half culti- 
vated, and scarcely that ; the corn-fields, which should 
produce something good and substantial, are left in 
fallow, and only the pleasure-grounds are cared for, which 
produce nothing but flowers, which are beautiful for a 
time, but of transient duration, and, comparatively, of 
little worth. Take heed, then, what you read. You 
cannot read everything. You must proceed on the 
principle of selection* Read nothing of an injurious 



118 THE FORMATION OF CHARACTER. 

tendency; for a bad book operates like poison in the 
system, which, when once in, can never be thoroughly 
got rid of. Kead chiefly substantial books, — books with 
something in them, — books which will lead you to think, 
— ^books which will inform the memory, discipline the 
mind, correct the judgment, and warm the heart 

The mode of reading is equally important " Read," 
says Lord Bacon again, " not to contradict and confute, 
nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and 
discourse ; but to weigh and consider. Some books are 
to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be 
chewed and digested ; that is, some books are to be read 
only in part; others to be read, but not curiously ; and 
some few to be r6ad wholly, and with diligence and 
attention."* These are weighty words, and should be 
well pondered ; for we fear that desultory reading, rather 
than careful and attentive reading, is the practice of 
many. They taste almost everything; they chew and 
digest nothing. Hence there is a great deal of super- 
ficiality in the present day, even among those who pro- 
fess to be educated people; for it is not skipping from 
book to book, and from one subject to another, that 
tends to build up the mental character, but the thought- 
ful study of a few standard works. If our young people 
would set themselves to a thorough mastery of two or 
three good books, such as " Butler's Analogy," " Pale/s 
Evidences," " Watson's Institutes," " Chalmers' Natural 
Theology," and " M*Co8h on the Method of the Divine 
Government," they would find their minds better fur- 
nished than if they read cart-loads of books with in- 
different haste. It is not the amount of what you read 



* ** Essays," with Annotations by Arch. Wbately. Four«h Edition, 
p. 474, &c. An invaluable book, especially to yoong men. 



READING THE BIBLE. 119 

that will tell upon the formation of your character, so 
much as the understanding and digesting what you read. 
A man may have a voracious appetite for food, and may 
eat everything set before him ; but if he cannot digest it, 
it will not increase his strength and vigour. And in like 
manner a person may read everything that comes in his 
way ; but if he does not meditate on what he reads and 
endeavour to understand it, his mind will receive no 
benefit, but will remain as narrow and as contracted as 
ever. 

In the reading of the Scriptures especially, haste is 
most injurious, and the want of thought and of reflection 
decidedly pernicious. To read so many chapters a-day 
is not a duty, neither will it be attended with profit, 
unless they are read carefully. Our duty is to read a 
portion of God's Word daily, and " to weigh and to con- 
sider." Be Bible-readers, whatever else you are; but 
be not superficial Bible-readers. Meditate on these 
things. Dive deep into the well. Search the sacred 
pages as for hid treasure. Especially study the bio- 
graphies of the Bible. " Scripture," says an eminent 
commentator, " has an incomparable felicity in describing 
the inner characters of minds." It paints men to the 
life, so that you see both their excellencies and their 
failings, — both their virtues and their defects. It cannot 
fail, therefore, if carefully studied, to exert a powerful 
and beneficial infiuence on the formation of character ; 
for it teaches us, by the living examples which it sets 
before us, both what to imitate and what to shun; 
whilst in the Great Biography, — the Biography of Jesus, 
the Prophet of Nazareth of Galilee, it presents before us 
a perfect pattern, the imitation of which should be the 
great aim of life. 

The habit affrayer has a powerful influence. on the 



120 THE FORMATION OF CHARACTER. 

formation of character. Its utility, who can doubt? 
Its efficacy* who can deny ? It brings the soul into irnme- 
diate contact with the Deity, lifts it above the transitory 
pleasures and the fleeting joys of earth, and thus ennobles 
it, dignifies it, and makes it truly great Sooner give up 
reading than prayer if you wish to form your character 
aright, for men prayed and became good and holy, before 
books were written, and when reading was but little 
known. There were many noble characters in the early 
ages of Christianity, ere printing was invented, ere books 
were numerous, and ere the art of reading was possessed, 
except by few. By what means were these characters 
formed? Doubtless, in part by oral instruction; but 
chiefly by prayer, accompanied by meditation on the 
things of Qod. Prayer, apart from its efficacy in ob- 
taining for us the direct blessings for which we ask, has 
a reflex influence on the mind, so that the youth or the 
man, who is in the daily habit of it, gains dispositions, 
thoughts, and feelings, to which otherwise he would be a 
total stranger. There is not one of the qualities we have 
mentioned as essential to nobility of character which can 
either be obtained or cultivated without prayer. Is it 
openness ? Genuine prayer is the very antipodes of de- 
ceitfulness and cunning, for it lays bare the breast for 
the inspection of Heaven, and its language is, " Search 
me, O God, and know my heart ,* try me, and know my 
thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in me, and 
lead me in the way everlasting." Is it generosity? 
Whose is the most magnanimous mind but his who has 
constant fellowship with the benevolent and merciful 
Creator ? Is it sympathy ? No one knows how to sj^m- 
pathize but he whose heart is melted by the influence of 
prayer; and it has been ever found that the truest 
friends of man were those that, like Abraham (who 



FBAYEB. 121 

pleaded so earnestly for the cities of the plain), were the 
friends of God P Is it decision ? What can give firm- 
ness to the hesitating, confidence to the doubting, and 
boldness to the feaiful, enabling them to say No, at 
once, to the most specious temptations by which they are 
assailed, and nerving their arm to do battle with the 
world, as the spirit of devotion, — as communion with the 
Source of life and power ? On the formation of cha- 
racter, then, prayer has a potent infiuence. It often 
clears the mental eye, rectifies the temper, and calms the 
passions of the soul; and the man who makes it the 
habit of his life obtains daily victories over his own 
nature, and becomes more and more assimilated to the 
image of the blessed God« 

Connect, then, with all your reading, all your studies, 
all your daily avocations and engagements, the practice 
of prayer. 

** More things are wrought by prayer 
Than tlds world dreams of. * * * 
For what are men better than sheep or goats 
That nourish a blind life within the brain, 
If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer 
Both for themselves and those who call them fHends f" 

The day you pass without prayer, dear reader, is a day 
lost in respect to the great work of building up your 
character for the future. Neither your mental nor your 
moral character will be formed aright — formed for the 
work before you in this life, or for the employments and 
rewards of the life to come, — unless you cultivate the 
spirit of devotion, and draw near frequently to the throne 
of grace. 

Essential to the preservation of character is a spirit of 
toatcT^fidneas, "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for 
out of it are the issues of life.'' However well a garden 



122 THE FORMATION OF CHARACTER. 

may be stocked with flowers and fruit-trees, yet if it is 
not fenced and guarded it will soon be worthless, for 
ruthless hands will spoil its productions, and barbarous 
feet tread them in the ground. The heart is a garden — 
the garden of character, for '' as a man thinketh in his 
heart, so is he." What, then, if it is not protected, — if 
no watch is kept over it, — if the entrances to it are left 
open to any intruder ? O, then, how soon will the love- 
liest flowers and the choicest fruits which have been 
planted in it be rooted up ! How soon will the noblest 
traits of character be trodden in the mire and lost ! Are 
there no sad instances around you of persons once in 
possession of honour, integrity, virtue, and religion, who, 
through unwatchfulness, have forfeited them all P There 
was a young man some years ago whose character stood 
high wherever he was known; who was admired, and 
that justly, for his eminent piety, and who was often 
referred to as a pattern of Christian devotedness and 
zeal; but one day temptation came and found him ofl" 
his guard, and in a little while that noble character was 
shattered, and lay, like the fragment of a once lofty 
column, on the ground, — the grief of friends and the 
derision of the world. And if character be once lost, 
how can it 'be recovered ? That beautiful piece of art, 
the Portland vase, one of the ornaments of the British 
Museum, was once broken by a maniac who had got into 
the room in which it stood ; but the pieces were gathered 
up and so skilfully put together, that only by a minute 
inspection would any one be able to tell where it had 
been joined. But let a man's character be broken, and 
where is the artist who can gather up the fragments, and 
unite them together, and reconstruct the shattered vase ? 
It may be restored by his own efforts, but it will probably 
take him years to regain the position in society he had 



WATCHFULNESS. 123 

before ; and even then the remembrance of the past will 
cling to him, and will cause him many a bitter pang. 

Have you secured a good reputation? Has your 
character been already formed after a noble pattern? 
Or, are you now at work in forming it, having before you 
the best examples you can find ? O, then, be watchful ! 
Guard well the avenues of your mind and heart. Culti- 
vate a spirit of vigilance and fear. Not far from you lies 
the serpent coiled up in the brake, and ready in a 
moment to dart forth and inflict a mortal sting. Not far 
from you couches the lion who is watching for his prey, 
and is waiting to destroy and to devour. You are in the 
midst of an insidious world. You are surrounded with a 
host of enemies. You are exposed to innumerable dan- 
gers and perils. Watch, therefore; watch like the 
sentinel on duty who dares not slumber at his post. 
Watch both by night and day, — in storms and in sun- 
shine. Watch ! 



*' NOTHING COULD BE MORE EBBONEOUS THAN FOB THOSE 
WHO PEAB GOD TO SUPPOSE THEMSELYES AS LIABLE AS EYEB 
TO 'the changes and chances of THIS MOBTAL LIFE.' 
CHANGE, IF GOD SEE GOOD, THEY MAT BXPEBIENGE ; BITT 
THE SINCEEELT BELIGIOITS HAVE DONE WITH CHANCE. 
HAVING ONCE COBDIALLT COMMITTED THEMSELVES TO GOD*S 
PATEBNAL CABE, THEY CAN MEET NOTHING IN THEIE COUBSE 
WHICH IS NOT THE BESFLT OF DIVINE ADJUSTMENT,— OF 
WISDOM, WHICH CANNOT EBB, — OF LOVE, TO WHICH THE 
TENDEBNESS OF THE TENDEBEST PABENTS BEABS NO 
COMPABISON. THIS IS NO DOUBTFUL SPECULATION: IT IS 

INCLUDED IN UHAT ONE WOBD, GOD." — Alexander Knox, 



SECTION I. 

PROSPECTS IN RELATION TO SOCIETY AT LARGE, 

" Train up thy children, England ! in the way 
Of righteousness, and feed them with the bread 
Of wholesome doctrine. Where hast thou thy mines 

But in their industry ? 
Thy bulwarks where but in their breast ! 
Thy might but in their arms ? "— South ey. 

" * When I am a man/ is the poetry of childhood ; 
* when I was a child/ is the poetry of old age." So 
said the bard of Sheffield, James Montgomery, one of 
those poets which the youth of our country will always 
love, and some of whose flowing words will be ever 
on their lips. " When I am a man ! " — what boy has not 
often uttered these words with the most joyous feelings, 
and looked forward to the time when he would be a boy 
no longer, with a kind of hopeful pride, fancying that 
manhood would be sure to bring with it a considerable 
increase of happiness and pleasure ? Hence it is that 
children and young people are always glad on the 
arrival of their birthdays, and always a little proud to 
tell their age ; whereas those who have passed the meridian 
of life look upon their birthdays in a very different light, 
and, instead of wishing to make themselves older than 
they are, would be glad if it could be proved that they 
were a few years younger. 



128 PROSPECTS IN RELATION TO SOCIETY. 

Well, ere long, our youthful readers will have passed' 
the period of youth, and will have entered upon another 
stage of life. Have they just got into their teens P How 
soon will they be men and women, actively engaged in 
the pursuits of business, or surrounded with domestic 
cares ! Ten short years will see them grown up to that 
honourable estate, and then the prospects which they now 
anticipate with so much pleasure will either be realized or 
otherwise. That they will be realized in all their fancied 
loveliness is scarcely probable ; for it is with life as with a 
landscape ; — viewed at a distance, it looks most enchant- 
ing, but a nearer view dispels the illusion, and, instead of 
gardens, and flower beds, and gravelled walks, presents 
to us rugged rocks, and dreary valleys, and precipitous 
hills, to journey over which proves no easy task. 

To present a gloomy picture of life is, however, by no 
means, our wish. We rejoice to know that the prospects 
of many of our youth are bright and pleasant, and we 
would on no account damp the ardour of their minds by 
telling them that all these prospects will prove illusive, 
and that their best and happiest days are necessarily 
those which are now passing over them. Every period of 
life has its cares and sorrows, and every period of life has 
its blessings and its joys ; hence, if they are under the 
influence of religious principles, our young people may 
look forward to the future with pleasurable hopes, and, 
happy as they now are, may expect to be stiU happier as 
months and years advance. Let them, however, guard 
against aerial castle-building. Let them not say to them- 
selves, " We will rise to eminence, we will gain riches j 
we will win the applause of men ; *' for, however ardently 
they may toil, and however skilfully they may lay their 
plans, their success in life will depend on the Divine 
blessing, and many a one who has aspired after greatness, 



BRITAIN'S OSEATNESS. 129 

rather than after goodness, has no sooner attained the 
eminence than giddiness has seized his brain, and he has 
fallen into the very depths of ruin. Solemnly instructive 
to young men is the history of Robert Clive. At 
the age of eighteen he went out to Madras as a clerk in 
the East India Company's service ; but, his employment 
being distasteful to him, he attempted to shoot himself. 
The pistol missed fire, and he concluded that he was 
destined for something great. He entered the army ; he 
rose, step by step, to the highest honours ; he became 
commander of the forces ; he won the memorable battle 
of Flassey; he was made an Irish peer; he defended 
himself successfully in Parliament against the charges 
which were alleged against him ; the House of Commons 
refused to condemn him, and came to the resolution that 
he had ** rendered great and meritorious services to his 
country;" and yet his proud spirit was so mortified 
by the conduct of his opponents that he first took to 
opium-eating, and at length died by his own hand ! 

But what are the prospects of our youth ? let us ask, 
especially with regard to society at large? Our youth 
will be the men and women of the next generation — the 
coming actors on the great stage of life. Twenty years 
hence, and some of them vrill be the merchants, or the 
manufacturers, or the working-men of England ; some of 
them, perhaps, the magistrates or the legislators of the 
nation ; many of them the heads of rising families, — the 
fathers and the mothers of merry children; whilst the 
present actors on the stage vrill have either passed into 
the shade of declining life, or will have sunk into the 
silent grave. Well, therefore, may England be anxious 
respecting her youth, and well may she wish to foimd 
schools and colleges in which they may be trained in 
virtue and religion ; for in what do her greatness and her 



130 PB0SFECT8 IN BELATIOK TO 80G1ETT. 

Stability consist P Not in her arms, not in her wealth, not 
in her commerce, but in the moral character of her popa*^ 
lation. If, then, her youth, «or a considerable portion of 
her youth, should grow up to manhood in vice and 
godlessness, where will be her boasted dignity a ibw years 
hence P Had she been more Ailly alive to the importance 
of educating her youth, half a century ago, or less, she 
would not, perhaps, have had to mourn, as, alas ! she 
now has, over the juvenile delinquencies of her laige 
towns and cities ; and, even now; she is but half awake to 
this momentous duty, so that her jails and her prisons 
are still occupied with numbers of youthful criminals, 
the greater part of whom, it is generally found, can read 
and write, either very imperfectly, or not at all.* 

Great Britain is, no doubt, in many respects, an illus- 
trious country; yet the moral condition of vast masses of 
its population, especially in such cities as London, 
Manchester, Liverpool, and Glasgow, is appalling, and 
cannot be contemplated by the Christian patriot without 
deep sorrow and anxiety. One of the most distressing 
sights to the philanthropic mind which these, and 
other towns and cities, present, is the large number 
of children and young people who are wandering about 
the streets to a late hour in the night, apparently 
uncared for by others, and utterly thoughUess and 
reckless themselves ; some of them half-intoxicated; 
many of them smoking cigars or pipes; numbers of 
them, of both sexes, uttering oaths, and taking the 
name of God in vain ! No doubt the greater portion ol 

* Dnring the nine month! ending September SO, 1856, 4,470 persons 
were taken into custody in tbe City of Mftnohester. Of these, but lOS 
could read and write well ; and 1,748 could not read or write at all. 
And ftirther, of these 4,470, 963 were persons under twen^ years of 
age. 



WHAT THE WOBLD EXPECTS OP OUE YOUTH. 13l 

them haTe been brought up in ignorance ; but there are 
many among them — many of the young men especially — 
who have been taught better, and have been favoured 
with a liberal, and even a religious, education* Oh, 
shame upon them that they should have no more respect 
for themselyes, their parents, and their country, but 
should jkhus dishonour all ! They are a curse to society, 
and not a blessing, for. they are doing everything in their 
power to bring down upon the land the obloquy of 
other nations an^ the displeasure of Almighty God. 

Britain's future depends upon her youth. ''The 
child is father of the man," says one, and, if so, what the 
youth of a country are, that the country itself will be 
when they are men. If the minority of them are igno- 
rant, godless, and immoral, woe to the land a few years 
hence! If, on the other hand, they are taught the 
principles of morality and religion, and practise what 
they learn, our highly-favoured country will have naught 
to fejUt even though other nations should be hostile to 
her and should threaten to invade her peaceful shores. 

It is to be feared that, numerically, a very large 
portion of the youth of Britain are under the influence of 
erroneous jHrinciples ; but they are not, we would hope, 
the portion which, as time advances, will hold the reins 
of Government, occupy seats of honour, and give the 
tone oi morals to general society. A minority on the 
side of right has often greater power than a majority on 
the side of wrong ; so that if the educated and Christian 
youth of the land are but faithful to their trust they may 
be the means of rolling back the tide of ungodliness 
which, like a mighty flood, would overwhelm the State. 
Will the YOUTH OP Methodism be true and £Edthful? 
We believe that the majority of them wilL 

It is a well-known and admitted fact that the Metho- 
k2 



132 PROSPECTS IN RELATIOK TO SOCIETT. 

diflts, as a people, have ever been loyal subjects, true 
patriots, genuine philanthropists, and good citizens. 
Since the days of Mr. Wesley, society, in this country, 
has been greatly improTed in many respects; and that 
improTement is owing, very considerably, to the influence 
of his labours and those of his coadjutors on the masses 
of the population. It would be a shame, then, aiid a 
disgrace to the youth of our community, trained as they 
have been in such a school, were they, as they reach 
maturer years, to throw their influence into the scale of 
sin and error, and thus to vitiate society rather than 
improve it Twen^ years ago an eminent minister of 
our body who lately occupied the Presidential chair of 
the Conference,* when addressing children of religious 
parents, uttered the following words : — 

'* The world reasonably looks for much'at your hand. 
They expect that a laborious breaking up of the &llow 
ground, an imsparing seed-time, and patient waiting for 
the former and the latter rain, should issue in an abundant 
harvest They look to you for the results of our superior 
principles of education, and for a justiflcation of our 
boasted confidence of Divine influence to succeed the 
use of appointed means. The world has a right to look 
to you for a superior morality. The standard your parents 
have adopted, and the motives they have inculcated are, 
professedly and really, superior to all others. The world 
has therefore a right to expect in you the utmost regard 
to truth, to goodness, to integrity, to sobriety, to tem- 
perance, to godliness. They cannot expect to witness in 
you the same greediness after wealth, the same panting 
for honour, the same delight in sensual enjoyments, the 
same trifling, the same disregard of things sacred and 

* The Rev. F. A. West. 



FOLLOWING PROVIDENCE. 133 

Divine, which they see in others who have not had your 
advantages.** 

The young people to whom these words were 
spoken, are now, if still alive, men and women, and 
some of them perhaps have not forgotten the appeals 
addressed to them. We adopt these sentiments, and we 
tell the Methodist youth of this generation that the world 
expects much of tJtem, that to them all £ngland looks for 
an example of the highest morals, the purest virtue, and 
the most exalted piety and goodness. 

That your country may not be disappointed, and that 
your own fair prospect in life may not be blasted through 
your folly or imprudence, there are several things of 
essential moment which we would have you ever bear 
in mind. 

It %B essential that you let providence choose your 
station and inheritance. Our great dramatist says, 
** There*s a divinity which shapes our ends, rough- 
hew them as we will;** but the sentiment savours too 
much of fatalism, and we believe that there are number- 
less instances in which young people especially lose their 
providential path, and thereby plunge themselves into 
irremediable distress and sorrow. There is a divinity 
which shapes our ends, but we must follow its leadings, 
submit to its discipline, and be obedient to its calls; 
otherwise we shall shape our own ends, and wretched 
they will 4oubtless prove. Much of the misery of human 
life arises from the unwillingness of men to take the path 
which providence points out to them as the one they 
ought to follow. They see, or fancy that they see, 
another path far more pleasant and agreeable than that, 
and though many things indicate that it is not the path 
for them, yet take it they will and do ; and when, perhaps, 
it is too late to retrace their steps, they find themselves 



134 PROSPECTS IN RELATION TO SOCIETY. 

like trayellen lost in the mates of a forest, and the further 
they proceed the more hopeless their case becomes. 

"Wilt thou not," then, "from this time, cry unto" 
Gk>d, " My Father, thou art the guide of my youth P ** 
We assume that you have already obtained that personal 
religion of which we spoke in a preceding section ; and 
now, as one of several practical proofs of your sinoerity, 
we ask you to commit your way unto the Lord, to permit 
Him to choose for you your lot in life, to seek SQs guid- 
ance in every step you take, and to follow that guidance 
wherever it may lead. Our heavenly Father has a right 
to do with us as He chooses, and to place us where He 
will ; and we may be assured that just in that niche (^ 
the great temple of society in which He would have us 
be we shall be the most useful to others, and shall 
realize the greatest happiness to ourselves. It is with 
men as it is with plants, they flourish best in the climate 
and the soil for which they were designed by the ruler of 
the world. 

Nor will you need Divine direction if you seek it, and 
are willing to follow it But it must be aoughi — sought in 
earnest and persevering prayer ; and when sought U mud 
he followed — ^followed implicitly and without any hesita- 
tion. To ask God to guide them, as some men do, and 
yet to take their own way after all, is but a mockery of 
the Most High; and even to hesitate, when we know 
what duty is, is both dishonourable to Him and injurious 
to ourselves. How many have closed the door of use- 
fulness against themselves for ever by standing with it on 
the jar and doubting whether to enter it or not. 

" There is ft tide in the affain of men, 
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortone ; 
Neglected, all the voyage of their life 
Is bound in shallows, and in miseries.'' 



SATISFAOndN WITH OUB LOT. 135 

Perhaps the tide is at the flood with some of our 
young friends just now. O take it, we beseech you! 
Boldly and fearlessly launch your skiff upon the waters, 
and, with Jesus as your pilot, proceed upon life's Toyage ( 
and, rough as it may sometimes prove, it will at least 
be safe, and your prospects will brighten as you near 
the port. 

It is essential that you he satisfied with your provi" 
dential lot. The prospects of very many of the youth of 
Methodism, with regwl to this world, are not like those 
of the rich and great, for they are the children of the 
middle and of the working-classes of society whose lot it 
is to earn their bread by the sweat of their brow. But let 
them not repine, or murmur, or yield to a spirit of dis< 
satisfaction and complaint ; for their position is as 
honourable a one, as is that of the titled nobility of the 
land, and they may be as happy in their cottage homes, 
in their shops, or in their fields, as the nobleman in his 
ancestral hall, or as the monarch on the throne. 

By no means, however, would we check the aspira- 
tions of the young to rise above their station if they can, 
provided only that they are actuated by right motives, 
and that they adopt only right plans. '* Power to do 
good is the true and lawful aid of aspiring," says Lord 
Bacon, and to aim at a higher position in society with 
this end in view is perfectly right, and is often crowned 
with success. Providence favours the diligent and per- 
severing; and many a one, like James Ferguson the 
Peasant-boy Philosopher; or George Stephenson, the 
Bailway Engineer; or Hugh Miller, the Geologist; has 
risen by his industry and talent from among the labour-* 
ing classes to a position worthy of any peer of the realm. 
It is always better, however, to rise by degrees than per 
Baltum^hy a bound ; for, as we oftea see when poor men 



136 PROSPECTS IN KELATION TO 80CIETT. 

come suddenly into the possession of large fortunes, the 
change is too great, and the mind is unable to retain its 
balance. Kise, if you can, by fair and honest means, but 
be not in haste to gain either riches or honour ; and if 
you cannot gain them without artifice and trickery be 
willing to follow the plough or to work at the loom, 
ufitil you are enfeebled by age, or called to your eternal 
rest 

It may be thought hard by many that they are 
doomed to labour, especially in some of the employments 
of life — in the mine, for instance, at the forge, or with 
the needle, and that, too, with no hope of bettering their 
condition to the end of life. " Talk of our prospects," 
some perhaps will say ; ** we have none but gloomy ones, 
for we see nothing before us but work, work, work ; and 
that almost beyond our strength." Yes, such is the lot 
of many, and we mourn over the fact But this is a 
working world, and labour is the fruit of sin. It is a 
mistake to suppose that toil is the lot of what are called 
the labouring classes only. It is experienced in all the 
walks of life, so that we often read of the struggles of 
the lawyer, the struggles of the artist, the struggles of 
the pastor, to obtain the position he desires, and to 
keep it when obtained. Complain, then, we must not, 
eyen though it seems as if our lot were worse than that 
of any one around us. Kather must we be submissiTC, 
patient, and contented, remembering that religion is 
designed to sweeten every cup, and that, if in this world 
we have toil, in the next we may have rest and peace. 

It 18 essential that yoti he prepared for either pro- 
sperity or adversity. The probability is that you will 
have a measure of both. For the path of life does not 
lie oyer a smooth and level country, but over a somewhat 
rugged one, so that now the traveller is on the lofty 



PE08PEETTY AND ADVERSITY. 137 

eminence, breathing the mountain air and animated by 
the sun's bright rays ; and, anon, he is in the lonely Tale 
where the deep, broad shadows wrap* him round, and 
everything seems gloomy, sad, and desolate. You are 
just entering on this perilous journey, and it will be well 
if you are prepared either for prosperity or adversity — 
either for the mountain top or the lowly vale — either for 
the summer's sun or for the winter's chilling blast. 

For, should prosperity shine upon your path for 
awhile — that is, should you gain riches, or honour, or 
distinction of any kind, the danger is that you will 
become proud, ostentatious, covetous, and overbearing. 
Where is the youth who, without a large measure of 
Divine grace, could bear to be exalted in the social scale, 
who would not be elated with success, and whom worldly 
prosperity would not render cold and distant to his 
poorer friends ? " Jeshurun waxed fat and kicked." 
Saul, once " little in his eyes," was made king over 
Israel, and then rebelled against God. And there have 
been instances innumerable in which young people, and 
others, have no sooner attained the summit of the 
mount than they have lost their gentleness, humility, 
and tenderness of conscience, and have become worldly- 
minded, uncharitable, and neglectful of almost every 
duty. Beware, then, of prosperity. Guard against its 
peculiar temptations. Be prepared to meet, and to con- 
tend against, its evils. It looks desirable at a distance, 
and few there are who are fully aware of the dangers 
connected with it; but it has its dangers, and to be 
apprised of them, and to endeavour to avoid them, is 
indicative of a prudent and discerning mind. 

But adversity may be your lot In one form or other 
it is almost sure to come, and it would be a great calamity 
to you if it did not " There is no more perilous ordeal 



138 PROSPECTS IN RELATION TO SOCIETY." 

through which man can pass," says one } " no greater 
curse which can be imposed on him, as he is at present 
constituted, than that of being compelled to walk his life 
long in the sunlight of unshaded prosperityj* Adversity . 
is essential to true greatness. It is not in the camp that 
the soldier learns to be brave and courageous, but in the 
battle-field, fieu^ing the foe. It is not in his comfortable 
home on land that the sailor becomes bold and fearless, 
but on tl^e boisterous main, contending with the storm. 
A man's true character is never known until the winter 
of adversity sets in around him ; but then, if he possesses 
real magnimity, he will stand out, like the patriarch of 
Uz, and appear greater and wiser than he ever did 
before. 

Yet adversity is hard to bear, and especially if severe 
and long-continued. It has crushed many a noble spirit, 
and the only sure armour in which to meet it is ** the 
armour of righteousness on the right-hand and on the 
left." Put on this, youthful warrior, and then, though 
storms and tempests rise, though your path be rugged 
and your prospects dark, though enemies assail you, and 
you meet with many rebuffs from the world, you shall 
nobly stand your ground, until, at length, you come up 
out of the battle-field, laden with the spoils of the 
prostrate foe. Some anticipate adversity, but this is 
needless ; some shrink from it, but this is cowardly ; some 
are stoical to it, but this is vain ; some sink under it, but 
this is unmanly and unchristian. Let our readers meet 
it (not beforehand, but when it comes) with fortitude, 
bear it with patience, and conquer it by faith and 
prayer. 

It is essential that you guard against the prevalent 
vices of the age. Nothing will blast the prospects of our 
youth more swiftly and more cerUdnly than these. What- 



DANGERS OF INTEMPEBANCE. 139' 

ever their position in society may now be, or whatever 
they may hope it will hereafter be, all their bright antici- 
pations will vanish in the air, if, yielding to the tempta- 
tions by which they will probably be assailed, they once 
set foot within the haunts of vice. Against the demon 
of intemperance, especially, we must lift up the voice of 
solemn warning.* It is slaying its thousands in the land 
every year, and among them are numbers of children and 
young people, some of whom were once scholars in our 
Sunday-schools, ay, and even members of the Church 
of Christ. Out of seventy-eight prisoners tried at the 
Glasgow assizes, in the year 1848, sixty-two had been 
connected with Sunday-schools, and of these fifty-nine 
admitted that drinking was the cause of their becoming 
criminals. ** Out of fifteen young men professing piety, 
and teachers in the Sabbath-school," says a minister at 
Ipswich, "nine were ruined through cbrink." And the 
Rev. James Sherman states that of a select dass in his 
Sunday-school, consisting of forty-six persons, " thurteen 
became confirmed drunkards, and nine occasional 
drunkards." Well might Dr. Guthrie say, " Before God 
and man, before the Church and the world, I impeach 
intemperance. I charge it with the murder of innu- 
merable souls. In this country, blessed with freedom 
and plenty, the Word of God and the liberties of true 
religion, I charge it as the cause,— whatever else be their 
source elsewhere,— of almost all the poverty, and almost 
all the crime, and almost all the misery, and almost all 
the ignorance, and almost all the irreligion, that disgrace 

* After serenl yean' experience the author can bear his testimony in 
favour of total abstinence. Since he adopted the principle he has been 
decidedly benefited both in mind and body ; and he should rejoice if 
every young perscm connected with our Churches would sign the 
pledge. 



140 PE08PECT8 IN SELATION TO SOCIETY. 

and afiBict the land." * His words are not a whit too 
strong ; nay, we helieve that no words are strong enough 
to paint the misery and the woe which are entailed on 
families and on individuals, in Great Britain alone, 
through this one vice. 

Bright, on the whole, are the prospects of thousands 
of our youth; hut for many of them we tremble, lest, 
like some that we have known, they should be induced 
to put to their lips the intoxicating cup, to join the 
companionship of the gay and thoughtless, to dishonour 
God's Sabbaths, and to blaspheme his holy name : and, 
oh ! the thought of one of the children of our day and 
Sabbath-schools learning to sing the drunkard's song, 
becoming a disgrace to the Church that nourished him, 
and a curse instead of a blessing to the world, is one on 
which no Christian parent, teacher, or patriot can dwell 
without emotions of overwhelming grief. For what are 
the certain results of intemperance ? They are these, — 
the ruin of character ; the ruin of health ; the ruin of 
circumstances ; the ruin of peace of mind ; the ruin of 
domestic happiness: the ruin of the deathless soul. 

But we pause, with the hope that this warning word 
will be heard and regarded by all our youth. In rela- 
tion to society at large, there are before many of you 
doors of honourable employment opening, and spheres 
of noble toil ; but it depends upon yourselves whether 
you prove worthy of them, and whether, having entered 
them, you fill the post assigned to you successfully and 
well. 

" Great duties are before you, and great songs ; 
And, whether crowned or crownless, when you fidl 
It matters not, so that God's work he done." 

• " The City ; its Sins and its Sorrows," p. 74. See also the Appendix, 
p. 182, &c. 



DANGERS OF INTEMPERANCE. 141 

Do, then, that work, — ^the work to which God calls you, 
and do it with your might ; for then, though you win no 
worldly honours, you will gain a fadeless and imperish- 
ahle crown ; though your names be not enrolled in the 
annals of human fame, Christ will confess your names 
before His Father and before His holy angels. 



SECTION IL 

PROSPECTS IN RELATION TO THE CHURCH 
OF CHRIST. 



*< Rouse to some work of high and holy love, 
And thou an angel's happiness shalt know,~ 
Shalt bless the earth ; while in the world above 

The good begun by thee shall onward flow 
In many a branching stream, and wider grow. 

The seed that, in these few and fleeting hours. 
Thy hands unsparing and unwearied sow. 
Shall deck thy grave with amaranthine flowers, "^ 

And yield thee firuits divine in heaven's immortal bowers." 

—Wilcox. 



The traveller who is exploring a newly discovered 
country will climb some lofty eminence tliat he may 
gaze upon a wider prospect; and, having surveyed it 
from that particular point, will then look out for, and 
climb another elevation, that he may get a different and 
still more extensive view. Now, we have been looking 
at the prospects of our youth from one elevated spot; 
let us climb a second, and contemplate them from that 
also, for there is a point from which they may be viewed 
considerably loftier than the one on which we have 
already stood, and from which they assume another and 
a far more cheering character. Come with us, young 
people, and we will describe to you the scene on which 
our eye now rests. 



EMPLOYMENT FOE EVEET ONE. 148 

Yonder, in the distance, you may discern a moun- 
tain, on the summit of which stands a beautiful and 
imposing edifice. What is that edifice P It is not a hall 
of science, — ^nor a mart of commerce, — nor a theatre of 
art, — it is the Temple of the living God, — the Church of 
Jesus Christ, built on the foundation of the apostles and 
prophets, He Himself being the chief comeiHstone. 
And see, there are multitudes fiocking towards it,-— 
climbing the mountain, thronging the steps, pressing in 
at the gates ; whilst many are actiyely employed in and 
about the building in numerous acts of worship and of 
love. Among them are numbers of children and young 
people; and ever and anon these children and young 
people, as they grow older and wiser, are admitted into 
the inner apartments of the edifice, and are employed in 
yet higher and nobler services. Who are they f do you ask? 
They are such as yourselves, dear readers ; and tiiese are 
the prospects we would have you contemplate, — ^your 
prospects in relation to the Christian Church, into which 
you have already been received by baptism, and to 
which, we trust, you belong, by your own voluntary 
choice. What a bright future is before you here ! Of 
the Church you may say, as did 1;he Psalmist, " A day 
in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be 
a door-keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell ia 
the tents of wickedness ; " for the prospect of occupying^ 
the meanest place in the tabernacle of the Lord of Hosts 
is more cheering to contemplate than that of being 
elevated to the highest seats of dignity which commercei 
or literature, or science can bestow. 

The Church of Christ, and especially the Wesleyaa 
branch of it, finds employment for every one. No 
sooner does a young person become truly pious, than it 
places him in a sphere of active usefulness. Within its 



144 PBOSPECTS IN EELATION TO THB CHXTBCH. 

preciDCts talents of the meanest, and talents of the 
highest order, will find room for their exercise and de- 
velopment; nor will a meed of honourable praise be 
denied to any one who labours diligently to fulfil his 
task. Our youth, then, may be sure that the Church 
will not discard them. She has nursed them and che- 
rished them in their childhood like a gentle mother, and 
she loTes them too much to cast them off when they 
arriye at maturer years. Indeed, she cannot do without 
them, neither can they do without her. They need her 
succours still, and she now needs their zealous labours in 
her cause. 

For, her members die. Where are now the early 
founders of the Church of Christ, — Paul, Peter, John ? 
Where are her noble martyrs and confessors, — ^Polycarp, 
Ignatius, Cyprian, and Jerome ? Where are her illustrious 
teachers and Reformers, — ^Augustine, Huss, Luther, and 
Melancthon ? and where are our own immediate prede- 
cessors, — ^the Wesleys, and their coadjutors, — ^the 
Thompsons, the Mathers, the Pawsons, die Clarkes, 
— with others, too numerous to name, — ^the honoured 
instruments of spreading yital Christianity through the 
land, and of arousing the slumbering churches of the 
nation to activity and zeal ? WTiere are they f Their 
dust reposes in the tomb ; their spirits have entered into 
rest. And many of the fathers and the mothers of the 
present youth of Methodism have already followed 
them, whilst others are retiring from the field, — are stand- 
ing on the margin of the flood, — and are saying to us, 
" Our work is done." Sabbath>school teachers, who have 
laboured in the work zealously and long, are reluctantly 
withdrawing from the ranks ; devoted class-leaders, local 
preachers, trustees, and stewards, are passing away to 
their rewards ; ministers are letting fall £rom their handi 



WORKING FOR GOD. 145 

the standard of the cross, because too feeble to grasp it 
any longer; and missionaries are dying in the high places 
of the foreign field, amidst the tears and lamentations of 
their spiritual children. 

To the rising generation, therefore, the Church is 
looking with the deepest interest and with much 
anxiety. To whom, indeed, can she look, if not to them^ 
for labourers to fill up the vacancies in her army, — for 
agents to carry on her evangelistic work, — ^for warriors to 
espouse her cause, and do battle with a hostile world P 
Up, then, young people, and enter the doors of useful- 
ness which are opening before you. To work for God, 
to be employed in the service of the Church, to take even 
an humble part in the glorious enterprise of spreading 
the knowledge of a Saviour's name, is far more honour- 
able than to spend life, as many do, in amassing wealth, 
in seeking honour, or in pursuing fame, and is, indeed, 
the grand end for which life is given. 

. We doubt not that many of our youth are ready to 
respond to the summons of their Lord, are ardently 
panting for the field of action, and are longing to take 
part in the conflict which is waging in the world. Like 
the noble war-horse, who, hearing the sound of the 
trumpet in the distance, paws the ground, is impatient of 
delay, and will scarcely yield to his rider's check, they 
want to go forth, and mingle in the battle, that they may 
make sure of a part in the final victory. It is well ; for 
without a measure of enthusiasm they will not succeed, 
and, in the youthful soldier of Jesus Christ, burning zeal 
is an essential qualification. 

Before some of the youth of Methodism, there are 

spheres of usefulness in the Church, which wiU not 

necessarily interfere with t?ieir secular calling in life ; 

before^ others, there are spheres of usefulness in prospect 

L 



146 PBOSPECTS IN BELATION TO THE GHUBCH. 

which will require them to abandon aU secular pursuits 
and to devote themselves whoUy to the service of their 
Head and Lord. Both these spheres should be carefully 
considered. 

The Church has work to do for those who are not 
whoUy detached from secular pursuits ; and very honoui^ 
able work it is. That of supporting by their worldly 
substance the several agencies which the Churdi employs, 
may be mentioned first. Methodism is a voluntary 
system. Its ministry, its schools, its home and foreign 
Missions, and its numerous sanctuaries, have been raised 
and sustained by the freewill offerings of its people. 
And what a noble monument of their large-hearted 
liberality it is ! In little more than a century there have 
been built in England and Wales upwards of 6,500 
places of worship (many of them beautiful and spacious 
structures), in which accommodation is provided for more 
than 1,400,000 persons ; — in almost every town, village, and 
hamlet of the land Sabbath-schools have been established, 
some of them taught in places of worship, but the greater 
number in separate buildings erected for the purpose ; — ^in 
a considerable number of places flourishing day-schools 
have also been founded, libraries purchased, tract 
societies organized, and societies formed for the relief 
of the sick, the aged, and the poor. A ministry, too, has 
been raised up and sustained, which, in Great Britain and 
Ireland, now numbers, inclusive of supemunierary 
ministers, and ministers on trial, 1,340 persons. For 
the training of young men for the ministry, two noble 
and efficient Institutions have been founded, and, in 
addition to these, an equally efficient one — the Normal 
Institution at Westminster, — for the training of day-scho(d 
teachers, of both sexes, for future employment at home or 
abroad. And, not to dwell here on the Home Missions 



OFEBATIONS OF METHODISM. 147 

of Methodism, since Methodism has been a Home 
Mission from its infancy, there is its wondrous Foreign 
Missionary Society, the operations of which are now 
carried on in every quarter of the globe and in many of 
the islands of the sea ; whose annual income is upwards 
of 120,000/., and the number of whose agents, paid and 
unpaid, is 13,381. 

What a vast machinery, then, has Methodism put in 
operation ? If the annual cost of it could be ascertained, 
it would, we doubt not, surprise the world; and if it 
were known how, and from what sources, the money is 
raised, the world would be surprised the more. From 
ten thousand little rills it comes streaming down to the 
different reservoirs, not once a year, but the whole year 
round; the poor, as well as the rich, contributing to the 
supply, whilst, here and there, it flows in wider streams, 
the rich as well as the poor taking pleasure, as indeed 
they ought, in sustaining the Redeemer's cause. Now, 
shall this machinery be kept in operation ? and shall the 
requisite supplies continue to be furnished P To a very 
great extent the answer to these questions rests with the 
rising youth of our community. Ere long the whole of 
the machinery will be committed to their trust, and on 
them will devolye the task of keeping it at work. 
" Other men" have " laboured," and they are " entering 
into their labours." Their fathers have built the noble 
vessel, and have kept it, with the Divine blessing, afloat 
upon the waters, with all its sails set, and all its apparatus 
in active play ; but tJieir work is nearly done, and to their 
children and their children's children, they are saying, 
''Farewell; we shall soon land on the shores of im- 
mortality. We now commit to you the management of 
the ship. Man her well ; store her liberally, and keep 
her in good and efficient repair." 
L2 



148 FB08FECTB IN RELATION TO THE CHUBCH. 

Many of our youth already occupy respectable posi- 
tions in society, and it may be that Proyidence will smile 
upon their dwellings, and bless them with considerable 
wealth. Let them " honour the Lord with ** their " sub- 
stance, and with the first-fruits of all " their " increase.** 
Let them imbibe the spirit, and tread in the footsteps of 
their honoured parents, by whose liberality the several 
funds of the Church have been sustained for, perhaps, 
nearly half a century. Let them remember that, as one 
has said, " of great riches there is no real use, except 
in the distribution ; " and again, that " riches have wings, 
and sometimes fly away of themselves, sometimes they 
must be set flying to bring in more." Giving will not 
impoverish them; withholding will not enrich them; for 
" there is that scattereth, and yet increaseth, and there is 
that withholdeth more than Is meet, and it tendeth to 
poverty." Many of our youth we hope to see, ere long, 
occupying the offices of Circuit or Society stewards and 
of treasurers to our several funds ; nor will any of them, 
we trust, when urged to take such honourable posts, be 
unwilling, especially on pecimiary grounds, to comply.* 

Others of our youth have not the means, and pnay 
never have, to give largely to the cause of God; and 
many of them, we doubt not, often regret this. But let 
them bear in mind that " it is accepted according to what 
a man hatii, and not according to what he hath not." 
Li a valley not far from our dwelling there is a monster 
water-wheel, by which the greater part of the machinery 
of an extensive worsted-mill is kept in motion. The 
stream that turns this wheel is fed not only by one or 

* By no means, howerer, ihonld a Christian's liberality be confined 
to his own religious denomination. Ife should cttltivate a Catholic 
spirit, and be willing, if he has it in his power, to aid in every noble 
enterprise, by whatever Church or Society it is managed. 



MISSIONARY ASSOCIATIONS. 149 

two considerable torrentSi but also by a number of little 
rivulets, each of which empties its portion of water into 
the general reservoir. Does the monster wheel despise 
the offerings of the little rivulets and tell them that tiiey 
may keep their insignificant drops to themselves? By 
no means. It is as glad of their contributions as of 
those of the larger brooks; and in like manner the 
Church accepts with joy the offerings of the poor as well 
as of the rich; and in some cases the former, like 
the widow's two mites, are deemed deserving of the 
greater praise. 

Let our young people of all classes cultivate a spirit 
of Christian liberality; and let them willingly support, 
as far as their means will permit, the ministers of the 
Gospel, Day and Sabbath Schools, Home and Foreign 
Missions, and other enterprises of love and mercy. With 
respect to foreign Missions, many, who cannot contribute 
much themselves, are already engaged as active collectors ; 
and, to the honour of our children we record it, they 
alone have raised for this cause, by the Christmas col- 
lecting cards in the course of eighteen years, the large 
and noble simi of upwards of 88,000/., whilst a consider- 
able portion of the annual income of our Missionary 
Society comes from the Juvenile Missionary Associa- 
tions of our towns and cities. Here, then, is a field of 
usefulness open to our youth of both sexes, which must, 
and, we doubt not, will be, occupied from year to year, 
with all the ardour and devotedness which have cha^ 
racterized the past. Who will not aspire to take part in 
a work so great and glorious ? Attended it often is with 
considerable discouragement, for the missionary collector 
comes in contact with all sorts of people — some kind and 
liberal, but others uncivil and penurious. Perseverance 
and prayer will, however, accomplish great things, and 



150 PKOSPECTS m BELATIOK TO THE CHUBCH. 

many, who had but little courage when first they entered 
on this work, so that they could scarcely bear the deniak 
and the frowns they met with, have become, ere long, as 
bold as the lion, whilst they have retained the innocence 
and gentleness of the dove. " To beg I am ashamed," 
said one ; but none need to be ashamed to beg for the 
cause of Christ and of a world perishing for lack of 
knowledge. There is nothing sordid in such a work as 
this, nothing dishonourable, nothing mean or low. It is 
a work for which even princes might leave their palaces, 
and kings their thrones, and which would confer upon 
them greater dignity than all the titles of which tfady 
make their boast. 

There are other departments of honourable service 
in the Church which our youth have in prospect 
Some of them will doubtless become class-leaders, local 
preachers, or teachers and managers of Simday-schools. 
In this last field many of them are already engaged, for 
it is one of a most inviting character, and one in which 
youthful talents may be exercised with considerable 
advantage. We may compare Sabbath- schools to little 
garden-plots, in which a variety of beautiful flowers are 
cultivated, and in which, under the guidance of skilful 
florists, the young admirer of the works of God may be 
employed in the culture of the difierent plants. The 
office of a Sunday-school teacher is far more important 
and responsible than some who sustain it appear to 
think. There are not a few, we fear, who profess to be 
teachers, but who take little or no pains to qualify them- 
selves for their work ; who never so much as look at the 
lessons of the Sabbath during the previous week, and 
who go and meet their scholars (possessed though they 
are of immortal minds longing to be fed with heavenly 
manna) utterly unprepared to explain to them intelli- 



THE SABBATH-SCHOOL. 15] 

gently the chapters they are about to read. Aim, young 
people, at a high standard of excellence in the work of 
Sabbath-school teaching. Think not that, because you 
have only to instruct a few poor children, your task is 
not worth the trouble of preparation, but try to do 
your best; and, to render yourselves as efficient for your 
work as possible, spend a little time now and then in the 
careful study of the appointed lessons, and in earnest 
prayer to God. Worthy of your imitation is the con- 
duct of John Mackintosh, a young man who intended, 
had he been spared, to enter the ministry of the Free 
Church of Scotland, and who, when a student at Cam- 
bridge, taught a class in a Sabbath-school. ''It is 
interesting to notice," says his biographer, ** his care for 
his Sabbath-class. He yisited the children in their 
houses. He prepared the lessons carefully which he 
was to teach, and prayed earnestiy for those who were 
to be taught. * Taught school,' he writes one Sabbath 
evening, 'without much comfort; children ill-prepared 
and inattentive. May not this be traced to my own 
remissness in prayer for them? I devote an hour for 
this on Sunday morning, yet too often allow it to be 
curtailed. May the Lord fill me with more concern for 
their immortal souls, and more zeal in his behalf who 
loves littie children.' " * 

An hour on the Sabbath morning for prayer on 
behalf of his class! What would our Sabbath-schools 
become if every teacher were to adopt a rule like this, 
and to prepare himself, by the careful reading and study 
of the Scriptures, using such helps as are now accessible 
to aU, to interest and to instruct the children that gather 
round him ? We have not space to dwell on this subject 

* "The Earnest Student/' by the Rev. N. Macleod, D.D. 



152 PBOSPECTS IN BELATION TO THE CHUHCH. 

as we could wish ; but we do not hesitate to say that 
pious, disinterested, and thoroughly efficient Sabbath- 
school teachers are everywhere needed, and that there is 
scarcely any field of Christian usefulness in which the 
zeal and the talent of our young people can be employed 
with such advantage, both to themselves and others, as 
they can in this. 

The position of day-school teachers, which some of 
our youth will be called to occupy, may be considered, in 
Christian schools at least, as one which combines hath 
tJie secular and the sacred. The calling of such persons 
is therefore a most important one, and requires talents, 
piety, and learning of the highest order. Time was, 
indeed, when it was thought that any tyro in knowledge 
was fit to teach the young, and when the task was 
frequently committed to an aged village dame. But that 
period has gone by, and, now that we are beginning to 
understand what education means, qualifications for the 
office of a teacher are demanded, and that by all classes 
of the society, by Christian Churches, and by the Govern- 
ment of the country, of a superior kind. Bright are the 
prospects of our youth if they see before them a work so 
honourable as this; for though it may be an arduous 
work, and one which requires the exercise of much 
patience, skill, and perseverance, yet is it a work worthy 
of the noblest minds, for it is to train the rising genera- 
tion in knowledge, virtue, and religion, and thus to fit 
them for citizenship on earth and for a blessed immor- 
tality in heaven. We rejoice that there is, and we trust 
there will continue to be, a considerable demand for 
teachers of both sexes, to be employed under the auspices 
of the Wesleyan Committee of Education ; nor will there 
be wanting, we believe, either males or females who will 
consecrate their energies to the important work. A 



DAY-SCHOOL TEACHING. 153 

goodly band has already been sent forth into the field ; 
others are in course of training in our noble Institution 
at Westminster; and others again are on a lower step, as 
pupil-teachers in our numerous schools, who, if faithful 
in their present posts, will rise with advancing years, 
step by step, to the honourable position they see before 
them. 

Now if any such, or similar prospects of usefulness in 
the Church, are opening to our youth, as opening they 
doubtless are, they will possess ''a vantage-ground for 
doing good," which many of their forefathers might well 
have envied. To do good is the highest end of life, and 
is, moreover, a source of the highest pleasure. It is just 
the want of something to do, or the want of a disposition 
to do it, that makes many unhappy and discontented ; 
whilst, on the other hand, it is in the act of working for 
God, in some field or other of Christian usefulness, that 
the happiest moments of life are realized. Nor need we 
occupy some very prominent position in order to do 
good, or to taste the happiness of being thus employed. 
In walks of life hidden from the public view, and in acts 
of benevolence which make no noise in the world, may 
we pour comfort into many a troubled breast, and secure 
for ourselves unutterable satisfaction. A gentleman who 
was travelling in Russia, some few years ago, met with 
the Governor of the prison at Sparrow-hill, near 
Moscow, Dr. Haase, of whom he thus speaks : — " In 
a long, low room we found about twenty men, who had 
come the day before irom the provinces. A movement 
took place on our entering, and the rattling chains 
grated harshly on the ear. A passing shade of pleasure 
lighted up the face of most as Dr. Haase passed amongst 
them, but was soon succeeded by a state of passive resig- 
nation. The blacksmith was in readiness with his tools. 



154 PROSPECTS IN BELATION TO THE CHUBCH. 

and one by one the strong rivets flew from the shackles* 
I wish my powers could describe the expression of that 
kind man's face, as he sat, the type of the true philan** 
thropist : there was something more than pleasure ; there 
was religion in every lineament; his eyes were lighted 
with a holy fire, and around his lips played a snule of 
benevolent joy, such as I had never seen before." 

Yet it was but a little temporary relief that he was 
aflbrding to the wretched prisoners, for they were on 
their way to banishment in Siberia. And, could acts of 
this kind afford such pleasiire to the mind of that philan- 
thropist? how much greater joy may those experience, — 
for how much greater good will they do, — who are engaged 
in knocking off the fetters of ignorance from the human 
mind, or of administering spiritual instruction to those 
who are in distress and grief! And this is the work, 
at least in prospect, of many of our intelligent youth. 
Let them enter on it with joy ; let them prosecute it with 
vigour ; let them perform it with untiring zeal. 

But spheres of usefulness are in prospect to some of 
our youth which will require them to abandon all 
secular pursuits and to devote themselves wholly to the 
service of the Church. Already, perhaps, they begin to 
hear the voice of God say, '' Whom shall I send, and who 
will go for us ? " and their convictions are already strong 
that a dispensation of the Gospel is committed unto them, 
and that at home or abroad — wherever Providence and 
the Church may direct — ^they will have to spend their 
lives in proclaiming Christ to men. Now whilst we 
would by no means encourage young men to be dissatis- 
fied with other spheres of usefulness, or to aspire to the 
Christian ministry, ere the Spirit calls them to the work ; 
yet, on the other hand, we would urge them not to dis- 
regard the call if given, but to listen, even to its softest 



HOME MISSIONARY WORK. 155 

whispers, and to watch the openings of Providence which 
indicate the path of duty. If God has work for yoa to 
do, He will call you to that work, and if He calls it is at 
your peril that you disohey. Leaye, you must, the 
counting-house, the market, and the hall of commerce, 
however profitable they may be; ay, and the social 
circle, and the comforts of home, and even yoiir father- 
land itself, with all its fond attachments and its dear 
delights, to bear the torch of truth, if Christ requires 
you, into regions far remote. 

Methodism is pre-eminently missionary. Her ag- 
gressive spirit is her glory; and she retains it to this 
day in all its vigour and its strength. She is now 
re-commencing, as it were, her mission to the masses of 
our home population, and is desirous to penetrate the 
large towns and cities of the land with an agency that 
shall carry the Gospel to the doors of the most neglected 
of society. Who will devote themselves to the self- 
denying but honourable work of evangelizing the hea- 
then of London, Manchester, and Liverpool, who in 
countless numbers present themselves in the streets and 
lanes of those cities, saying, by their very looks, " No 
man careth for our souls ?" Where are the young men 
who, instead of occupying the pulpits of our beautiful 
chapels, will, for a few years at least, be content to 
preach in cottages, in garrets, at the comers of the 
streets, on the quays, and in the market-places ; and, for 
the sake of winning souls to Christ, .brave toil, and 
danger, and even obloquy and rebuke, in the arduous 
enterprise? Oh! it is time that the Churches were 
aroused to a deeper sense of the importance of this 
work ; for we have but to look at the statistics of crime 
in this country to be convinced that, after all, ignorance 
and vice are fearfully predominant in the land, and that 



156 PBOSPECTS IN RELATION TO THE CHUBCH. 

annually yast thousands within our immediate reach are 
passing into eternity unprepared to die. Let our young 
men ponder this subject deeply. Let them make them- 
selves so fully acquainted with it that it may stir their 
spirits to their depths, and compel them to say, " Lord, 
here we are; send us." Many of them wiU do it. 
Methodism will not want agents for this department of 
her work. God is already laying His hand upon a few ; 
and a noble army of home-missionary labourers will, we 
trust, be in the field ere long.* 

But the field is the world. All, therefore, cannot 



* I subjoin the following appeal to young men, from the "Occa- 
sional Paper " for May, 1858, of the Committee on Wealeyan Home 
Missions : — '* Let us be permitted, in this paper, earnestly to invite 
young ministers to offer for this work. We want volunteers. Many of 
the noblest spirits among our younger ministers, from year to year have 
delighted to volunteer for the foreign mission-work, being ready, for 
Christ's sake, to 'jeopardy their lives in the high places of the field.' 
Now, who will come forward for tM» work t Where is the young man, 
ready, for a few years, to toil manfully, that he may be separated from 
the more regular pastoral work, and be a missionary to his own 
countrymen ? Britain's glens need yet to be pierced, in many a direc- 
tion, by willing and dauntless labourers, who, knapsack on shoulder, 
will pioneer the way for more settled ministrations. The scattered 
villages and the towns of the west and south must hear their quiet 
ways echo with the voice of the preacher ; at the coimtry fair or market 
he must take his stand on the skirts of the crowd, or imder the shadow 
of the market-cross, to preach Christ to those who, up to this very day, 
have, in many instances, not even had the opportunity of hearing the 
Gospel of salvation by grace. And, in our large and crowded towns, 
the alienated labourer and the hapless British pariah must be visited 
from house to house. The gloomy cellar must be penetrated; the 
remote alley be explored ; the reeking one room entered, and its crowd 
of sordid and squalid tenants told of hope and a Saviour, of sin and 
hell, of holiness and heaven. S^all a woman set the example, and 
young men of Methodism not be ready to go after her, that, if possible, 
they may exceed her in service and success t Surely what Miss Marsh 
did for the * navvies ' at Beckenham, many a young man will yearn to 
do for all the outcast whom he may be able to reach I " 



FOREIGN MISSIONS. 167 

remain at home, many as its claims and wants may be. 
The outlying territories of heathenism must be visited. 
Some of our youth must give themselves for high and 
noble emprise on the plains of Hindoostan, in the wilds 
of Africa, or amid the Islands of the Southern Seas. 
Never were louder calls made upon the Church to 
attempt the evangelization of the world, than now; 
never were more numerous doors of usefulness thrown 
open; and never was there such a demand for men 
of enterprise, talent, piety, and zeal for foreign mis- 
sionary toil. There is British India, now in a higher 
sense British than it has ever been, because placed im- 
mediately under the sceptre of our Queen, where, alas ! 
calamities have been witnessed, sufferings endured, and 
atrocities perpetrated, in connexion with the revolt of the 
native troops, at which the world has stood aghast ; and 
where idolatry, in its most degrading and demoralizing 
forms, yet holds dominion over 200,000,000 of human 
beings. There is China, with a population still larger, in 
the same moral and religious condition, now, by a series 
of remarkable providences, thrown open to the evan- 
gelical operations of the Church, and presenting such 
a field for missionary enterprise as will require more 
labourers (humanly speaking) than all Christendom can 
furnish in the next century. There is Central Africa, 
where the indefatigable Livingstone has already planted the 
seeds of British commerce and of Christian truth, and 
where vast tribes of men whose existence, until recently, 
was not even known, are, to some extent, ready to receive 
the messengers of the cross with friendly feelings and an 
attentive ear. Oh, it is wondrous how the heathen world 
is being thrown open to the Christian Church! It is as 
when the Israelites had encompassed Jericho, — as when 
the armed men and the priests bearing the ark and. 



158 PB0SPECT8 IN BELATION TO THE CHUBCH. 

blowing the trumpets, having gone round the walU seyeii 
days, the walls fell down flat before them, and the peo]de 
rushed in and took possession of the city. The Churoh 
has been going round and round the walls of heathendonit 
but, with a few exceptions, it has been hitherto com- 
pelled to keep upon the outskirts; now, however, the 
walls are falling, in various directions; — there are 
breaches here, and openings yonder, and a voice is 
heard, saying to the Church, " Shout, for the Lord hath 
given you the city ! " 

Young men of Methodism, we want valiant soldiers 
of the cross, — men who count not their lives dear unto 
them, — ^to enter these openings, and to carry the standard 
of the cross, and plant it upon heights where it has 
never yet waved. "Who will consecrate his services 
this day unto the Lord ? " Would you win renown as 
heroes ? You will find no wider field for the exercise of 
a truly heroic spirit than this. It is a battle-field more 
glorious than Likerman or Delhi, and it can tell of 
heroes equal in every respect to the greatest warriors 
whose names are enrolled in the pages of history, and 
whose monuments adorn the magnificent cathedrals of 
the land. Victories for Christ, — ^bloodless conquests over 
human hearts, — triumphs over error, superstition, and 
idolatry, — here you may gain them with abundant 
joy, and gaining them, they will prove your eternal 
recompence. 

We know that the ties of country, home, and 
friends, are powerful ; and we know that, in some 
instances, parents interfere, and are unwilling to give 
up their children for a work so hazardous. But 
if the Spirit of God rests upon a young man and calls 
him to the enterprise, go he must, or he will imperil his 
salvation, " for he that loveth fSather and mother morQ 



THE YOUTHFUI^ MISSIONARY. 159 

than me," said Christ, " is not worthy of me ; ** whilst on 
anoth^ occasion He said, " There is no man that hath 
left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or 
wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the Gospers, 
but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, 
houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and chil- 
dren, and lands, with persecutions ; and in the world to 
come eternal life." 

Twenty years ago we attended, in one of the chapels 
in London, a valedictory service of several missionaries, 
which we well remember to this day. Among those 
missionaries was a young man who had been for some 
time a student in the Theological Institution at Hoxton, 
but had now received an appointment to a distant part 
of the world, for which he was to sail in the course of a 
few days. His parents, who were not decidedly pious, 
had been unwilling to give him up to the work to which 
he had been called; and this he said had been his 
greatest grief. He had gone down into the country to 
bid them farewell, and had endeavoured to induce them 
to say, " You may go ; " but this much, which, for their 
.aakes as well as for his own, he was so anxious they 
should say, he had failed to extract from their lips. Duty 
was his, however, and he knew and felt that even the 
fond affection of a father and a mother must not inter- 
fere with the claims of Christ, and hence he had bidden 
them a painful adieu, and had returned to Loudon to 
embark for his destination. That morning, however, the 
morning of the day on which this service was held, he 
had received from them a letter in which they gave 
expression to their tenderest regards for their son, but 
said that they could no longer withhold their consent^ 
and that with it, and with their blessing, he might go. 
It was enough. His prayer had been heard ; and now 



160 PROSPECTS IN EELATION TO THE CHUBCH. 

his heart was comparatively light. He went, accom- 
panied by several odiers of his companions and fellow- 
labourers, to dark, cannibal Feejee. That young man 
was John Hunt; and how he tolled and laboured in 
Feejee — ^what dangers he encountered, what difficulties 
he braved, what successes he experienced, ova missionary 
records tell. And at length he died— died in the arms 
of his friend, Mr. Calvert, almost with his last breath 
praying, " O Lord, bless Feejee ! Save the heathens in 
Feejee ! " 

Brief was his career, but bright and glorious. Oh for 
a host of such young men ! Let our youth get baptized 
with the missionary spirit, and then, if they are sum- 
moned to the field, no ties of kindred, no love of home, 
no fear of danger will deter them from rushing into the 
midst of the battle. Nothing, however, but genuine 
piety, — piety the most ardent and sincere will qualify 
them for a work like this. Li ancient Athens a spectacle 
was witnessed thrice a-year, which was called the torch- 
race. The competitors were youths. They lit their 
torches at the altar of Prometheus in the Ceramicus, 
and then with the utmost speed ran towards the city. 
He whose torch went out during the race gave place to 
the next, and the victory was to him who first reached 
the goal with his torch still lit. Your torches, young 
men, must be lit at the altar of the cross ; and bearing 
them higbi but holding them steadily, you must enter on 
your course : nor will they go out if you take with you 
a supply of the oil of grace, and gain, as you proceed, 
fresh supplies, by prayer and faith, but sooner or later 
you shall reach the goal, and to you shall be awarded 
a glorious victory. 

That such are the prospects of some of our youth, 
and that these prospects will in many instances be 



TEN YEARS HENCE. 161 

realized, we cannot doubt. In the distant perspective 
of some ten or fifteen years we see one or another whose 
eye now lights upon this page, bidding farewell to friends 
and home, stepping on board the missionary ship, plant- 
ing his foot on the shores of Africa or the East, standing 
at the door of some idol temple, and proclaiming " an 
idol is nothing in the world ; ** and then on some page of 
a future missionary notice giving a narrative of his toils 
in the service of his Lord. Are you saying, " Lord, is it 
I ? " Perhaps it is ; but wait and see. Cherish the holy 
fire, if but a spark of it has been enkindled in your 
breast; give yourself to Christ and to His Church for 
whatever service you may be hereafter destined; and 
labour diligently in the sphere you already occupy for 
the glory of your Saviour's name. 

Dr. Kitto, in his Daily Headings on Isaiah xlix. 21, 
says, " Twenty years ago, before * the Lord caused me to 
wander from my father's house,* and from my native 
place, I put my mark upon this passage in Isaiah, ' I am 
the Lord : they shall not be ashamed that wait for Me.' 
Of the many books I now possess, the Bible that bears 
this mark is the only one that belonged to me at that 
time. It now lies before me ; and I find that, although 
the hair which was then dark as night, has meanwhile 
become <a sable silvered,' the ink which marked the 
text has grown into intensity of blackness as the time 
advanced, corresponding with, and in fact recording, the 
growing intensity of the conviction, that * they shall not 
be ashamed that wait for thee.' I believed it then : but 
I know it now ; and I can write probatum est^ with my 
whole heart, over against the symbol which that mark is 
to me, of my ancient faith." 

The writer can add his testimony to this precious 
truth. Thirty years ago he was cast upon the world 
M 



162 PBOSPECTS IN RELATION TO THE CHURCH. 

with no money, with but few friendst and with prospects as 
cheerless as they well could be. But he sought Divine 
counsel) and committed his way unto the Lord, and step 
by step he has been led hitherto, by a path not one foot 
of which he could then foresee. Let our youth take for 
their guide and friend the Lord of hosts, and He will 
open up their course, brighten their prospeets, and 
direct their way; and honourably and usefully, though 
it may be in comparative obscurity from the world's 
rude gaze, they shall spend their days, and then rise 
to regions of eternal joy. 



SECTION III. 

PROSPECTS RELATING TO A FUTURE LIFE. 



^ Heavenward our path still goes, 
Sojourners on earth we wander, 

'Till we reach our blest repose, 
In the land of Promise yonder : 

Bere we stay a pilgrim band, 

There must be our fatherland." — Sckmolbk. 



We must now ascend another mount, higher than the 
Alps, higher than the Andes, higher than the loftiest 
peak of the Himalayah ; — a mount which we can climh 
by faith only — the spiritual Pisgah, firom which we may 
view " that goodly land,** of which Canaan was a feeble 
type, and see its golden groves, its tree of Hfe, its crystal 
river, and its sea of glass; a sight more beautiful and 
glorious than the loftiest imagination can conceive. 

Such a land there is, though it cannot be discerned 
by eyes of flesh. The range of man's vision is very 
limited, so that there may be, and doubtless are, in 
the vast regions of space, worlds unnumbered which he 
cannot see, even with the aid of the most powerful tele- 
scope his ingenuity can construct. But a few years ago the 
existence of one of the planets of the solar system was 
unknown ; but an astronomer having conceived that it 
did exist, and having calculated where, or in what part 
of the heavens it would be at a certain time, directed his 
M 2 



164 PB0SPECT8 RELATING TO A FUTURE LIFE, 

telescope to the point, and there beheld it shining on its 
way. Who then will doubt, because he cannot see it, 
that there is, somewhere in the vast bounds of space, 
another world such as the sacred Scriptures describe — 
a world of light, and happiness, and joy, inhabited only 
by the pure and spotless, and the special residence of 
God himself? The Christian does not doubt it; but 
exults in hope that he shall one day see it, that he shall 
one day enter it, that he shall one day dwell within its 
radiant light; and of all the prospects that are before 
him there are none to be compared with this. 

To the young, heaven, eternity, a future state, often 
appear distant in relation to time as well as space ; and 
if they think of them at all, they think of them as far 
away, at the end of their earthly sojourn, which they 
fancy will be extended some forty, fifty, or sixty years. Yet 
even this is a brief period — a mere point in the countless 
years of duration, and many of them do not live half so 
long, nay, many of them die ere yet they arrive at 
manhood's prime. Death, indeed, claims as his prey, 
in many instances, the infant that has just budded into 
life, and the child that has just begun to step with buoy- 
ant foot across the floor ; whilst youth in all its stages falls 
beneath his scythe, and withers at his touch. I knew a 
young man many years ago, " the only son of his mother, 
and she was a widow," possessed of a charming voice for 
singing, and of considerable musical talents which he 
had cultivated with great care; who, just as he was 
entering into public life, and just as his widowed mother 
anticipated his occupying an honourable and lucrative 
position in the world, was smitten with disease, and laid 
prostrate on a bed of languishing and pain. I used to 
visit him almost every day, and sometimes he would 
express a hope that he should recover, and would talk 



BEUNION WITH FRIENDS. 165 

of the prospects which were opening before him. But 
he was resigned to the will of God, for he had sought 
and found the pearl of great price, and when he saw that 
there was no probability of his being raised up, he ceased 
conversing about this life, and would speak only about 
God and Heaven. I saw him die, — calmly, sweetly, 
triumphantly, fox death had lost its sting, and his spirit 
passed away to join in the music of the skies. 

I knew another, much more recently, who had entered 
on a course of study for the Christian ministry, and who 
gave promise of becoming a devoted and successful 
herald of the Cross. But he took a severe cold, con- 
sumption seized him as its prey, and slowly but surely 
that insidious complaint wasted his youthful strength 
and vigour. For four long years he was confined to 
his room, often suffering great pain, but patiently sub- 
missive to his Saviour's will. Having few friends around 
him, and not being able to read much, his solitude was 
cheered a little by the singing of some birds which a 
kind brother had procured for him, and placed in cages 
within his chamber. Emblems were these little birds of 
his own spirit, which, though happy, often longed to 
escape from its confinement, and to tower away and 
be at rest; and at length the moment of deliverance 
came, the tottering tabernacle fell, and the captive 
entered into liberty and light. 

But instances of this kind might be adduced without 
number, for they are occurring around us almost every 
day. Though we have addreissed you, then, in the pre- 
ceding pages, on your prospects in relation to society and 
the Church, yet it is possible that such prospects may 
not be realized, — that, ere long, sickness may cast a vail 
over them all, — ^that you are already marked for an 



166 PROSPECTS BELATINO TO A FUTUKE LIFB. 

early grave. What tlienP Ought you to be gloomy, 
sad, and melancholy P Surely not, if you are ChristianB ; 
for then there are prospects before you brighter, fiurw, 
loyelier than any which this life can open to your Tiew, 
—prospects which (unlike those of earth that look 
enchanting in the distance, but fade as you come 
nearer them) will be realized in more than all the 
glory with which your fancy can invest them. To 
some of these we will direct yoiir thoughts. 

There is, first, the project of a reunion wUh departed 
Chrietian Jrtende. Some years ago, when slav^ was 
sanctioned by the British Grown, a father and his son, 
who were slaves, were sold by their master to different 
purchasers. They were thus torn away from each other's 
society, and taken so far distant from each other that 
they had no hope of ever meeting in this world any 
more. But time rolled on; the act of emancipatioa 
came into operation, and then they were free. They 
both journeyed to the same town; and one Sabbath 
morning both went to the same place of worship. Years 
had made a great change in their appearanoe. The 
father had become a grey-headed old man, the son had 
lost the freshness and vivacity of youth. But they saw 
each other, and the son thought to himself " Surely that 
b my father." In a few moments he approadied him ; 
a single word was enough to assure him that it was even 
so, and joyous beyond all conception was the meeting 
that day of the long-separated father and son. 

And think you not that you wDl recognize your 
sainted friends in heaven ? On this subject — the recog- 
nition of one another in our Father's home — ^volumes 
have been written. It has been a hope entertained by 
the Church through all ages ; poets have sung of it, 



KECOGNITION. 167 

ministers have preached on it, and the holiest men have 
exulted in the bought of it. An eminent living writer 
says: — ^**I see no reason why those who have heen 
dearest friends on earth should not, when admitted to 
that happy state, continue to be so,'with full knowledge 
and recollection of their former friendship. If a man is 
still to continue (as there is every reason to suppose) a 
social being, and capable of friendship, it seems contrary 
to all probability that he should cast off or forget his 
former friends, who are partakers with him of the like 
exaltation. He will indeed be greatly changed from 
what he was on earth, and unfitted, perhaps, for friend- 
ship with such a being as one of us is now ; but his 
friend will have undergone (by supposition) a corre* 
sponding change. And as we have seen those who have 
been loving play-fellows in childhood grow up, if they 
grow up with good, and with like dispositions, into still 
closer friendship in riper years, so also it is probable 
that when this our state of childhood shall be perfected 
in the maturity of a better world, the like attachment 
will continue between those companions who have trod 
together the Christian path to glory, and have taken 
sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God 
as friends." 

No wonder, then, that one who had buried a lovely 
child should pour forth his feelings in such strains as 
these: — 

** A Uttle whUe-a UtUe whfle— 

Ah ! kng it cannot 1>e ! 
And thou again on us wilt smile, 

Where angels smile on thee. 
How selfish is this worldly heart ? 

How sinAil to deplore 1 
Oh, that we were where now thou art, 

Not lost, but gone before I " 



168 PROSPECTS RELATING TO A FUTURE LIFE. 

"Delta," as he signed himself,* the writer of these 
lines, has doubtless realized his wish, and has been re- 
united to his child in the glorious Paradise of God. 
And prospects such as these are before you, dear reader, 
if you are a Christian youth. Sooner or later you will 
be re-united to that fond father who gave you counsel, 
to that tender mother who so often watched over you in 
sickness, to those affectionate brothers and sisters in 
whose society you spent so many pleasant hours, but 
who, it may be, have preceded you to the world of 
light ; and you shall tread with them the golden streets 
of the New Jerusalem, and pluck with them the firuit of 
the tree of life, and drink with them of the river of the 
water of life, and sing with them the song of Moses and 
the Lamb. "We shall meet again," said a pious 
mother to her son, as she bade him fiurewell on his 
departure as a missionary to a distant land. They never 
met again on earth, for soon after she finished her 
course with joy ; and a few years later he died upon a 
foreign shore : but her words were doubtless true, and 
her hope was doubtless realized. They met again on 
the heavenly plains, to be separated ho more for ever ; 
and there such meetings are constantly taking place, so 
that the joy of angels is perhaps increased in vritnessing 
the reunions of long-divided friends. O, blessed pro- 
spect! What is there on earth with which we ^ can 
compare it? The soldier returning from the battle- 
field ; the mariner casting anchor in his native port ; the 
benighted traveller who sees at length the glimmering 
light of his cottage-home ; exults in the thought that in 
a few moments more he shall clasp in his embrace the 
beloved ones whom he has not seen for many weeks; 

* David Macbeth Moir. 



SEEING THE REDEEMED. 169 

but what is this in comparison with the Christian's hope 
of being ere long conducted by angelic spirits to his 
heavenly home, there to see the friends and the com- 
panions of his early days whom death had robbed him 
of, and whose remains he had followed to the silent 
tomb ? O dwell, dear youth, upon the prospect, and let 
it cheer you in your solitude, if in solitude you are, 
and let it urge you to prosecute your heavenward way ! 

There is the prospect of seeing the great and good of 
other ages and of other lands, whom we have never per- 
sonally known on earth, but whom we shall doubtless 
know in heaven. Seldom do we hear of the fame, or 
see the productions, or read the writings of an eminent 
individual, but we conceive a wish to see him. Who has 
not conceived such a wish with respect to the patriarchs, 
the prophets, the apostles, and the martyrs, of former 
ages of the Church, and thought what a privilege it 
would be to hold converse with them, and to hear from 
their own lips something of their eventful histories? 
Can it be doubted that this desire will be realized in the 
heavenly world? If on the Mount of Transfiguration 
Moses and Elijah appeared together and conversed with 
Jesus, though they lived in eras of the world's history 
five hundred and ninety years apart, will not all the 
people of God, from the earliest to the latest times, 
become acquainted one with another in the life to come ? 
The inference is, at least, a highly probable one ; and it 
is as pleasing as it is probable, and is one feature in the 
prospect before the Christian which may be contemplated 
with delight and joy. 

And what a long line of worthies rises before the eye 
of the mind as we dwell upon this thought! In the 
heavenly world you will see Adam, " the progenitor of 
mankind ; " and Eve, " the mother of all living ; '* and Noah, 



170 PROSPECTS RELATING TO A FUTURE LIFE. 

"the preacher of righteousness;*' and Abraham, "the 
friend of God." There you vill see Moses, " the law- 
giver of Israel;" and Samuel, ** a prophet of the Lord;" 
and David, " the shepherd king;" and Isaiah, " the en- 
raptured seer ;" and Daniel, ** the man greatly beloved." 
There you will see Mary, the mother of the Lord, and 
Peter, James, and John, with the rest of the apostles of 
the Lamb, including Paul, " the minister of Jesus Christ 
to the Gentiles," though once " a persecutor and inju- 
rious." And there you will see the martyrs of the early 
Church, and the bold reformers of a later age, and the 
illustrious teachers who adorn its annals from the begin- 
ning of its history until now. And, besides all these, 
you will see thousands more whose names you have 
never heard, ** of every nation, and kindred, and people, 
and tongue;" many of whom have no place in the 
records of the Church on earth, but who fought and 
conquered under the banner of the Cross, and were 
counted worthy of the victor's crown. All these you 
will see, — a multitude that no man can number; and, in 
addition to these, the holy angels, who were your minis- 
tering spirits, and who, though not of man's race, were 
created by the same God, and are members of His one 
great family abov^. 

And will it not be unspeakably blessed to hold com- 
munion with these glorious beings, all holy and spotless as 
they are, — ^the angels having never sinned, and the re- 
deemed from off the earth having washed their robes and 
made them white in the blood of the Lamb? What 
mysteries they will explain to us ! What revelations they 
will make ! What conflicts and what victories will they teU 
us of and describe ! As when soldiers, after a long and 
dangerous war, having arrived at home from the seat of 
ponflict, love to meet and tell one another of the wounds 



, THE FAMILY IN HEAVEN ONE. 171 

they receWed and the perils they escaped, so, we can 
imagine, will the soldiers of the cross, when the battle is 
over and the victory is won, and when they meet in that 
home where the din of strife is never heard, recount, to 
the glory of the Captain of their Salvation, the conquests 
gained over sin and Satan and the world. For the song 
of the redeemed is called the song of Moses, the servant 
of God — ^that is, it is a song of victory, like that which 
was chanted by the hosts of Israel on the shores of the 
Bed Sea after they had passed through its divided waters 
and their enemies had been overwhelmed in the returning 
tide. That song, says one whom we have before quoted, 
" was a type of all the psalms which have been sung on 
earth since,"* and it was a type of the final song which 
the triumphant Church shall chant before the throne of 
God. From myriads of voices, but in one language and 
in perfect harmony, shall that ancient battle-song peal, 
over the sea of glass mingled with fire, and through 
eternity shall the countless hosts repeat, " Thou in thy 
mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed : 
thou hast guided them in thy strength to thy holy habi- 
tation." 

Nor must we forget that the great family in heaven is 
one — one in mind, one in spirit, one in name. We have 
addressed you, in the preceding pages, in relation to 
your membership with a certain section of the Church of 
Christ ; but in that glorious state of which we now speak 
the Church has no sections, but is distinguished for its 
unity, its oneness, and its harmony. Here, where mists 
and vapours obscure the vision of God's people, they see 
things differently and in different lights, and " knowing " 
but *' in part," their views are frequently confiicting, and, 

• " The Voice of Chrktian Lift in Song." pages 5 an4 S96. 



172 PB08PECT8 BELATINQ TO A FUTUEE LIFE. 

almost as a natural consequence, their love for on^ 
another is often cold. But there all dimness and ob- 
scurity will be done away; truth will be presented to 
their minds in a light surpassing that of the mid-day 
sun; they will <<know even as also they are known;" 
and hence they will be one both in judgment and affec- 
tion, and will all be subject to one common Head and 
Lord. There will be no walls of partition there, no 
denominational titles there, no sectarian prejudices there. , 
The names to which we attach so much importance here 
— ^Episcopalian, Wesleyan, Baptist, and Independent, 
will be there unknown, for they will all be lost in the one 
name, Christian — ^the new name, which the mouth of the 
Lord shall name. The triumphant Church will doubtless 
incorporate thousands of all sections of the militant 
Church ; but the names of their respective leaders and 
commanders will then be laid aside, and they will all 
rejoice in the one common bond of brotherhood which 
will bind them together — ^the bond of love to their 
Saviour, Lord, and Xing. Is not this a gladdening 
thought ? is not this a cheering prospect ? Let us, then, 
now cultivate towards our Christian brethren of every 
name the " charity" which « hopeth all things; " and let 
us anticipate the day when we shall hold fellowship with 
them in the realms of immortality and light. Many 
young people form intimate associations with persons 
not of their own community, and sometimes they regret 
that their views are different, and would rejoice if their 
opinions were in perfect harmony. Well, the day shall 
come when their desires will be fulfilled, for in their 
Father*s house they will see eye to eye, and will be united 
for ever by the closest ties. 

There is the prospect ofheholding Jesus himself and of 
dwelling far ever in his immediate presence. An ancient 



SEEING JESUS. 173 

historian tells us that when Cyrus, King of Persia, entered 
Armenia, one talked of his wisdom, another of his resolu- 
tion, another of his mildness ; and some of his beauty 
and the height of his stature; but that a certain female 
being asked what she thought of him, replied, *^ I did 
not look at him, for I was looking at the man who 
said he would pay the price of his life to redeem me from 
slavery." Did this female think so much of one who 
had but promised to die for her, that even a monarch's 
splendour could not draw away her attention from him ? 
What, then, must the Christian think of Him who 
actually laid down -his life for the redemption of the 
world ? Oh ! in the believer's estimation Jesus is " the 
fairest among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely,'' 
and to see Him, and be with Him, is his highest atnbi- 
tion and desire. Even heaven itself has no object so 
glorious as the Lamb that was slain, for He is its light 
and the source of all its joys, so that when the spirit is 
set free from its earthly tenement and enters the land 
that is very far off, it will pass by the ranks of angels and 
of the redeemed, that it may behold " the King in his 
beauty," and present its homage at his feet. 

This brightest of all prospects is before you, dear 
reader. " We shall see Him as He is," says the beloved 
disciple. " As He w," — not as He was, — in the wilder- 
ness of temptation — in the garden of agony — on the 
cross of shame ; but " a« Se is/* — the God-man, in his 
majesty and glory, with many crowns upon his head, 
and his countenance as the sun shineth in his strength. 

We shall see Him in our disembodied state, for to be 
" absent from the body " is to be " present with the 
Lord ; " but we shall see Him also on the day of the 
resurrection, when He shall appear in the clouds of 



174 PBOSPECTS RELATING TO A FUTUBE LIFE. 

heaTen, and shall bid our dost come forth from the long, 
long silence of the graye. 

" Theie eye« that daisied now and weak 
At glancing motes in aonshine wink, 
Shall see the King's foil ^ory hieak, 
Nor from the blissftil vision shrink : 

" In fearless love and hope uncloy'd 
For ever on that ocean bright 
Empowered to gaxe; and undestray'd 
Deeper and deeper plunge in light." 

And seeing Him we shall be ** like Him," — glorious as 
He is glorious, pure as He is pure, holy as He is holy; 
and being ** like Him " we shall be placed at his right- 
hand, and ultimately conducted to the new Jerusalem, 
the walls of which are of jasper, and the city of pure 
gold, like unto glass, where we shall dwell with Him and 
with his saints fob eveb. 

But how faint are the conceptions we can form of 
prospects such as these ! Were it not that they are pre- 
sented to us in the page of inspiration we should think 
it impossible that creatures such as we are could ever 
attain to honour so great and to privileges so exalted. 
You are perhaps comparatively poor, and know what it 
is to endure auction, to sustain sorrow, to contend with 
numerous trials and distresses. Your home, it may be, 
is a very humble one, and within the palaces of the rich 
and great you are never permitted to set foot. Never 
did you see royalty in its splendour, for your dwelling is 
among the sons of toil and suffering, where scenes of 
worldly pomp and glory never meet the eye. Yet you 
can see God's sun, an object more glorious than any 
upon which the courtiers of princes gaze ; and, ere long, 
you shall see Him that made that sun, and in his bright 
])resence shall exchange poverty for riches, sorrow for 



PEBFETUAL PROGRESS. 175 

joy, and a night of toil for an unclouded day of rest O 
think, ye children of the poor, ye labourers in the field 
or in the mill, ye busy youth behind the counter, who 
so often long for shorter hours ; think what it will be to 
bid adieu to care, and anxiety, and suffering, for ever, — 
to mingle with the spirits of the blest, to enter on the 
Sabbath of the skies, and to gaze with enraptured sight 
on the glorified humanity of the Son of God ! Think of 
all this, and let the prospect cheer you ; and, when you 
are downcast and dejected, stretch out the wings of faith 
and hope, and try to ascend this Pisgah mount, where 
visions such as these will pass before you,* and will cause 
you to forget for awhile your toil. 

There is, further, the prospect of perpetual progreM in 
knowledge^ holiness, and blessedness, without Umit and 
witihout end. What shall we be P and how shall we be 
employed in heayen ? are questions which have occupied 
the thoughts of some of the greatest minds; but who 
can answer them P " It doth not yet appear what we 
shall be/* A few faint beams of light, and no more, are 
all that are granted us on our future condition; — ^the 
rest eternity must rereal. 

Yet these few faint beams should be carefully ob- 
serred ; for they reveal to us some things of momentous 
interest. They tell us, for example, that we shall be-^ 
that WR SHALL EXT8T, and that for ever. There is no 
doubt, no uncertainty, on this point ; and how solemn a 
reflection it is ! Think, dear reader, that you, the indi- 
vidual you, you yourself^ will never cease to be, but, in 
some state or other, of happiness or misery, of bliss or 
woe, will be living, in perfect consciousness of your own 
identity, when ages, millions of ages, and millions of 
ages after them, will have passed away ! And you will 
carry with you into that eternal state the character that 



176 PROSPECTS RELATING TO A FUTUEE LIFE. 

you form in this. Essentially you will be the same 
person, possessing the same tempers, dispositions, and 
affections then, that you do now, or will do when you are 
called to quit this lower state. Nor can it be doubted 
that, if you reach the heaven prepared for you, you will 
enter, with new powers and expanded faculties, on 
employments the most noble, elevated, and glorious, 
which will lead you upwards, through eternity, to the 
infinite and blessed God. 

For " can we believe," asks one, " that the precious 
and costly fruits of a long and painful culture, in the 
present state, are. all to fall to the earth and perish, just 
as they are ripened ? " No ; we are here, in a training 
school, for a higher and more exalted state of being, and 
the lessons we learn here we shall have to practise there ; 
the great principles of duty which are here implanted in 
our minds, we shall there carry out in more active 
operation. A vast field of action will, doubtless, be there 
presented before us, and not in " recollections of labour, 
anthems of praise, and inert repose,** shall we spend 
eternity ; but in studying the works and ways of God, in 
performing, as do the angels now, his blessed will, and, 
perhaps, in accomplishing tasks, in comparison with 
which those we have to accomplish now are but like 
playing with pebbles on the ocean's shore. That a flood 
of light will be let in upon our minds the moment we 
enter the spirit-land, no one can doubt, but that we shall 
know everything at once, is quite improbable, nay, im- 
possible ; for then we should become like God Himself! 
Gradually, then, and through vast cycles of duration, 
will the mysteries of providence and grace be unfolded 
to our enraptured minds, whilst every fresh discovery of 
the infinite perfections of the Creator will awaken fresh 
enjoyment, gratitude, and praise. 



WHAT WE SHALL BE. 177 

What prospects, then, are here I Perhaps the reader's 
lot is one of almost unremitting toil and care; but, 
possessing a superior mind, he often longs for leisure to 
inquire into those sublime and glorious truths which, 
though dimly, are presented to his mind. Let him not 
be discouraged. God has not given him capacities never 
to be filled. In eternity, if not in time, he will have the 
means of gratifying his utmost wishes ; and how high in 
knowledge, wisdom, blessedness, and glory, he will one 
day rise, is beyond the calculations of the wisest of man- 
kind. It is not presumption, however, to suppose that 
the redeemed will hereafter gain the intelligence possessed 
by angels now, and that, though there will ever be orders 
and ranks of heavenly beings, the lowest will attain the 
position of the highest, whilst they again will have risen 
higher still. 

These thoughts, however, are more than we can grasp, 
and even in giving expression to them their weight op- 
presses us. " Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither 
have entered into the heart of man the things which 
God hath prepared for them that love Him.^ Lest, then, 
we should speculate on what is not revealed, we will not 
further pursue the theme; but, in view of these prospects 
relating to the heavenly world, will ask our readers 
whether they ha^ffl^ indeed, a hope of realizing them, 
— whether they potsess a title to the inheritance of the 
saints in light, an^ whether, should their youth be nipped 
in the bud by the ruthless hand of death, their Saviour 
would transplant them in the paradise above ? 

We should like to meet our youth in heaven. We 
should like to see those for whom so many prayers have 
been offered, so many tears shed, so many efforts made, 
and so many sacrifices offered, safely lodged in their 
Father's house. But it is a holy place. " There 

N 



178 PB08PECT8 RELATING TO A FUTUKE LIIE. 

SHALL IN NO WISE ENTER INTO IT ANYTHING THAT 
DEFILETH, NEITHER WHATSOEVER WORKETH ABOMINA- 
TION OR MAKETH A LIE; BUT THEY THAT ARE 
WRITTEN IN THE LaMB'S BoOK OP LiFE." And 

the fearful alternative of exclusion from heaven is 
eternal death,r—" the worm that dieth not, and the 
fire that is not quenched." If you fail to realize the 
bright prospects on which we have dwelt, your prospects 
will be more gloomy and more terrible than human lan- 
guage pan describe, for your doom will be with "the 
fearful, and the unbelieving, and the abominable/' in the 
lake that bumeth with fire and brimstone. 

As I take my farewell of you, dear youthful 
reader, let me entreat you to ponder these things. 
Go into your closet ; open your Bible ; bow down in 
earnest prayer, and ask God to give you a know- 
ledge of yourself, a knowledge of your guilt and 
sin, a knowledge of your interest in Christ's death 
and sacrifice, and a knowledge of the path that leads 
to immortality. And oh ! make it the one great business 
of your life to secure those holy and heavenly dispositions 
which will fit you for the society of the redeemed, and for 
the presence of your God and Saviour. There is a 
crown of life for you ; a place before the throne for you ; 
a palm of victory for you. Contend ibr them manfully, 
courageously, perseveringly, and, by the grace of God, 
you shall join the disembodied bosUf^ and shall dwell 
with Jesus and his redeemed for ever. 



Hayman Brothers, Printers, 18, Gough-square, London. 



WOBXS BY THE SAME AUTHOB. 

Third Edition^ post 8vo., clot\ elegant^ price 4«., 

ZAFHNATH-FAAHEAH; 

OB, 

THE HISTORY OF JOSEPH. 

VIEWED IN CONNEXION WITH THE ANTIQUITIES OP 

EGYPT AND THE CUSTOMS OP THE TIMES 

IN WHICH HE LIVED. 

BrUicatttt. iDit) fmRfsston, to t^e fteb. So^n itaniia^ S.B. 



CONTENTS. 



Chap. L— The Youth of Jo- 
seph. 

„ II.— The Policy of Jo- 
seph's Brethren. 

„ ni.-Egypt. 

„ IV. — Joseph in the 
House of Foti- 
phar. 

„ V. — Joseph in Prison. 

„ VI.— The Exaltation 
of Joseph. 

„ Vii. — Joseph's Mar- 
riage. 

„ Vin.— The Seven Years 
of Plenty. 

„ IX.— The Seren Years 
of Famine. 

„ X— The First Visit of 
Joseph's Bre- 
thren. 



Chap. XI.-— TheSecondVisit 
of Joseph'sBre- 
thren. 

„ Xn. — ^The Disdosure. 

„ XIII.— The Descent 
into Egypt of 
Jacob and his 
Family. 

„ XIV.— The Settlement 
in Goshen. 

„ XV.— The Blessing of 
Ephraim and 
Manasseh. 

„ XVI. — Jacob's Prophe- 
cies relatiTe to 
his Sons. 

„ XVn.— The Death and 
Burialof Jacob. 

„ XVIII.— Joseph's last 
Days. 



** The author can make good use of his materials, and the 
work is admirably adapted to interest and benefit intelligent 
youth."— Bri^A iinarterly Seview, Aug,, 1858. 



2 W0BK8 BY THE SAME AXTTHOB. 

" This is a book of no ordinary merit, — a fact of which the 
pubUc have judged correctly. Nor will its third edition be 
its last. Let it not be supposed that this is a mere book of 
homilies to young men, of which the illustrious Joseph is 
both the text and the exemplar. It is far more than that, 
justifying its title in relation to the Antiquities of Egypt and 
its social customs, at the time to which the biography refers. 
Mr. Smith is a man of undoubted abiUty, but no amount of 
ability could produce a work of this character, without patient 
research and much reading, and we are obliged to the 
excellent author for giving us the results of his research 
and reading in this Teiy interesting work.** — JSelectic 
Meview, Aug.^ 1858. 

" The large circulation this work has already secured may 
be taken as a sure indication of its Talue. The author has 
satisfactorily elucidated the sacred narratiye by the modem 
investigations into Egyptian history and antiquities ; and he 
has shown that Egypt*s testimony to the truth of the Bible, 
like the recent discoveries on the sites of Nineveh and 
Babylon, is dear and unequivocal*' — Wesleyan Teachers' 
Magazine^ June, 1858. 

" The idea of this work is remarkably felicitous, and the 
execution is scarcely less so. The Bible narrative is taken as 
the foundation, and the details are illustrated by the dis- 
coveries of modem travellers, and by the researches of learned 
men, which have thrown so much light upon the early history 
of Egypt. The illustrations which the author employs are 
always judicious, and communicate information which, for the 
most part, has until now been confined to works intended 
only for the studious and the learned.** — Daily News. 

" The study of this Uttle book will certainly repay the 
serious reader, by the fine thoughts it offers to his mind, not 
less than the interest of an ordinary kind which attaches 
to its facts.** — Morning Advertiser, 

** Of the very numerous works intended to explain or 
improve this very interesting portion of Holy Writ, this 



W0BE8 BY THE SAME AUTHOB. 3 

Yolome is, in many respects, the best. It is an attempt to 
bring to bear on the history of Joseph all the available 
knowledge respecting the times in which he flourished, and 
the countries in which his remarkable life was passed.*' — 
Clerical Journal, 

"We can especially recommend Mr. Smith's excellent 
work to those interested in Sunday Schools. It is a treasury 
of precious knowledge upon the part of Scripture of which it 
treats, and we strongly advise every Sunday-school teacher 
who may peruse our columns to provide himself with a copy 
of it." — Freema/n. 

" It is the work upon the subject." — HomiUst. 

" We do not hesitate to pronounce this a volume of great 
merit. It was time that recent discoveries should be brought 
to bear on the elucidation of the history of Joseph. The 
volume, viewed in reference to the particular task it under- 
takes, is not likely to be soon superseded in value and 
interest." — News of the Churched. 

*' Mr. Smith's extensive and well-directed reading, his 
industry, good taste, and constant aim to unite illustration of 
the sacred writings with sound religious teaching, have 
dnabled him to produce a thoroughly good book." — Wesley an 
Magazine. 



ISmo., cloth, price 3*., 

THE YOUTHS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. 



T. Cain and Abel. 

II. Ishmael. 
III. Isaac. 
TV. Jacob and Esau. 

V. Joseph. 
VT. Moses. 



CONTENTS. 

VII. Samuel. 
VIII. Saul. 
IX. David. 
X. Absalom. 
XI. Solomon. 
XII. Josiah. 



4 W0S£8 BY THE SAHS AUTHOB. 

Will be published shortl^f, 

Oelricatelr. mt^ fermtssiin. to &tc 3. 0. Hatlittnson, S.€.i.. . ^M.^.. 

OSABSIPH ; 

OR, 

THE HISTORY OF MOSES. 

VIEWED IN CONNEXION WITH THE ANTIQUITIES OF 

EGYPT, AND THE CUSTOMS OF THE TIMES 

IN W^HICH HE LIVED. 





CONTENTS. 




Chap. I. 


—Egypt after the 


Chap. XII.- 


— Elim and Re- 




times of Joseph. 




phidim. 


„ II.- 


—The Bondage. 


„ XIII.- 


-Sinai. 


„ ni.- 


-The Birth of Mo- 


„ XIV.- 


-The Giring of 




ses. 




the Law. 


„ lY.- 


-TheEgyptianLife 


„ XV.- 


-Moses in the 




of Moses. 




Mount. 


» v- 


-Moses in the Land 


„ XVI.- 


-The Erection of 




of Midian. 




the Tabernacle. 


„ VI.- 


-The Commission. 


„ XVII.- 


-The Ijand Es- 


„ VII.- 


—The Demand and 




pied. 




and the Delay. 


„XVIII.- 


-The Wander- 


„VIIL- 


— ThePlagues. 




ings in the 


„ IX,- 


-The Night to be 




Wilderness. 




observed. 


„ XIX.- 


-The Last Days 


„ X.- 


-The Departure. 




and Death of 


„ XL- 


-The Passage of the 
Bed Sea. 




Moses. 



£\